The Mystery of the Tea Party's Karl Rove-as-Nazi Photo

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 19 2013 4:11 PM

The Mystery of the Tea Party's Karl Rove-as-Nazi Photo

Tea Party Patriots National Coordinator Jenny Beth Martin joins other members of the Tea Party outside the U.S. Supreme Court during the third day of oral arguements over the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act March 28, 2012 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The drama is over now, but it started like this. On Tuesday afternoon, Tea Party Patriots—one of the first serious movement organizations, now in its fourth year—sent a fundraising pitch to conservative email lists. I'll excerpt a small portion of it.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Over just that last few weeks "Republicans" like Rove have called Tea Party members "racists","bigots," "paranoid" and even political "underbrush."
And that's just the "Republicans!" What the Obama liberals think is even worse!
That's why we launched this historic fundraising campaign.
We need to show the entire political establishment of both parties that the American people are angry, organized and that we will stand up to their corruption.
We've posted a special graphic on our website so that the politicians, the bureaucrats, the media and even Karl Rove can watch in real time as the American people take a stand for liberty and support our movement.

And so on. The problem: The original version of this email was illustrated by Karl Rove wearing Nazi garb, looking for all the world like a Hogan's Heroes guest star. Media questions started to come in, and shortly after 3:30, Tea Party Patriots pushed out a statement credited to Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and president:

In an email sent under the banner of Tea Party Patriots, a manufactured image of Karl Rove was added to the email which Tea Party Patriots did not know about or approve. The image, which was added by an outside vendor, Active Engagement, was inappropriate, wrong and we have ordered them to immediately cease further use of the image. We apologize to Mr. Rove.

It was just added? By who? What happened? Martin was actually traveling on Tuesday, and the email text was approved by another member of the group, Kevin Mooneyhan. The vendor, which did work for Herman Cain in 2011, took full credit for screwing up the mailing; the apology was circulated by Shirley & Banister, an Alexandria, Va., consulting/PR firm. Thus goes the grassroots Tea Party group.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

Even by Russian Standards, Moscow’s Anti-War March Was Surprisingly Grim

I Wrote a Novel Envisioning a Nigerian Space Program. Then I Learned Nigeria Actually Has One.

The Best Thing About the People’s Climate March in NYC

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

John Oliver Debunks the Miss America Pageant’s Claim That It Gives Out $45 Million in Scholarships

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 22 2014 12:30 PM Turkey Just Got Forty-Six Hostages Back From ISIS. How Did That Happen?
Sept. 22 2014 12:44 PM The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 22 2014 1:22 PM Is Arabic Really Just One Language? 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM Escaping the Extreme Christian Fundamentalism of "Quiverfull"
  Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
Sept. 22 2014 1:10 PM One Photographer’s Beautiful and Devastating Response to Climate Change
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.