Olbermann declines Tea Party invitation

Feb. 25, 2010 at 4:35 PM
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DALLAS, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The Dallas Tea Party invited a liberal talk-show host to attend its anniversary rally scheduled for Saturday, the conservative group said.

Keith Olbermann, who remarked on the lack of racial diversity at Tea Party events on his MSNBC program, "Countdown," declined the invitation to attend the Dallas City Hall event, the Dallas Morning News reported Thursday.

The Tea Party produced a Web video that indicates leading MSNBC personalities are all white, the newspaper said.

"We have more diversity on our three-person steering committee than your entire TV network lineup," the video narrator says.

Olbermann said the network has minority anchors, contributors and guests.

Katrina Pierson, a black member of the Dallas group's steering committee, said black voters reject the Tea Party because they still support President Obama. "Diversity does matter to me. The Tea Party principles benefit the black community," she said, adding that the group is diversifying.

Olbermann's commentaries reflect the news media's misunderstandings about the Tea Party's groups, said Philip Dennis, a member of the group's steering committee.

"None of these people have ever been to a Tea Party. We focus on the way people think and their ideology, not the way they look," Dennis said.

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