July 8th, 2010
02:44 PM ET
12 years ago

Tea Party activists to host Gulf Coast telethon

Washington (CNN) - Conservative activists, some aligned with the Tea Party movement, hope to join hands with Hollywood celebrities and other famous names for a worthy cause: help for victims of the massive Gulf Coast oil spill.

Organizers hope to highlight tragic stories and say it does not matter if the values of Hollywood heavyweights - typically branded as a liberal set - might clash with the organizers' conservative ideals.

On Thursday, The American Grassroots Coalition announced a telethon to benefit the region still reeling from the oil spill. The conservative grassroots activist group is partnering with others including the "Tea Party Patriots Live" radio show and the Kitchen Table Patriots, based in Pennsylvania. Radio talk show hosts and other shows will also assist in the telethon.

The nationwide event will be streamed out live on various radio stations and on the internet from the Gulf Coast on July 29.

Amy Kremer, co-founder of the coalition, talked to CNN about the event's mission: to widen the portrait of tragedy from the nation's worst environmental disaster. Kremer is also the chairman of the Tea Party Express but says that group is not connected.

"We have not come up with a target," Kremer said. "I think no matter how much we raise, it won't be enough."

Organizers hope Hollywood celebrities, famous politicians and others will take part in the event, according to Kremer. She admitted that no stars have yet to actually commit. But Kremer noted that organizers are pursuing some well-known types whose names she could not yet reveal.

As for possibly teaming up with a liberal Hollywood set that is diametrically opposed to the ideals of the conservative organizers, Kremer issued one message: put ideology aside.

"This isn't about being Democrat or Republican - this is about being an American, about helping our own," Kremer said.

"We're happy to partner with anybody on the Right or the Left," she added. "You have to look at the cause and the bigger picture. We would actually hope we could work with them, on the Progressive side, because then we have the ability to reach more people."

Kremer's statement announcing the telethon noted that "there is a human tragedy to this disaster that needs to be profiled." The statement also said that organizers "want to give these people a chance to have their stories told and faces seen," and that they "want the rest of America to see what is happening in the Gulf Coast region."

In the nearly four-month ordeal, countless stories have been presented about the economic impact of the disaster and many victims have been profiled in often near blanket coverage in newspapers, on the internet, on television and in other media. Kremer was asked how the group's statement that human tragedy "needs to be profiled" squares with the abundant coverage.

She agreed that the oil spill has garnered a heavy amount of coverage. Yet Kremer criticized, what organizers feel, is the dominant focus.

"The majority of the coverage is about BP and the leak being stopped and where the $20 billion is going to go. And these people are hurting down here," Kremer told CNN.

The telethon's organizers hope to increase, what they see as, a lower level of support from Americans compared to other recent tragedies.

"Where is the outgoing of support in this country like we saw during Haiti and the Tsunami?" Kremer said, referring to this year's devastating earthquake in Haiti and 2004's tsunami in Asia.

Filed under: Energy • Tea Party movement
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. JOhn

    These people choose to have these rigs in the gulf. They choose to support the republican cries for deregulation, they choose to support the party of drill baby drill. They got everything they asked for. After the past 10 years of republican government anyone that wants to be pretend to be surprised that they where lied to, deserves it. Republican slie more often than then tell the truth. You trusted these people with your livleyhood and the safety of the Gulf because they told you it was safe. Once again, you where lied to by the GOP. Spill baby spill, that oil is on the hands of everyone in the guld that ever voted for a republican.

    July 8, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. Now we will hear form the Dem fruit cakes

    Now we will see all the radical left wing democratic fruit loops come out -- becasue they beloe they are God's gift to humanity (puke)Obama and his tax and spend liberals and socialists do not get it, and that is the Tea Party Movement (not party) is made up of Independents, democrats and republicans - and teachers, and union members, and veterans, and business leaders, and blacks, latinos, asians, and white, and catholic and protestant and Jewish and Muslim - It is America... But Obama and his South Chicago political dirty tricks machine is constantly trying to paint them as a threaT AND AS RADICALS - TIME FOR PRESIDENT OBLAMO TO GO

    July 8, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Real Patriot

    Larry King already did one jeff, alabama. Since y'all are constantly using the term "liberal media" and a bunch of Hollywood celebrities participated (all those liberal Hollywood types you constantly grip about), We get to claim it!

    July 8, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Capsaicin

    'Put ideology aside' sounds great when conservative activists and talk show hosts are putting it forward, but I'd think Hollywood and other liberal activists would tend to be mighty suspicious, and want to see in documented detail, the proof of the genuineness of this 'truce'.

    For example if talk radio and conservative activists continue to rip on Obama and the government, while the GOP continues to stall all Democrats efforts to make things better, including the unemployment benefits now weeks delayed, then I'd suggest they are hypocrites, just trying to get some mainstream cred from by slumming with Hollywood types even as their other hand tries to keep drowning America in the bathtub for November.

    July 8, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Karl in SLC

    What will the profit margin be? Does Glenn Beck get a cut?

    July 8, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. lolo

    This article says it all for me. Why did they have to say hollywood liberals. See this is why America is in the shape that it is. Since you conservatives hate liberals so much, just leave us out of your fundraisers. Now it sounds like just get the money and run from the liberals. Just makes me cringe from the thinking of the so called conservatives. They are really from a different planet.

    July 8, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. Bill

    Looks like a phony "grassroots" effort to harness anger at BP for conservative causes. As if the various Tea Party groups actually wanted better or more regulation of private business. Sorry, that simply has not been part of their message. In fact, they've advocated the opposite.

    But many people along the Gulf coast need help, because their livelihoods have been destroyed or compromised by BP's recklessness.

    I hope the various Tea Party groups will follow through and call for more corporate accountability and better governmental enforcement of applicable laws and regulations.

    July 8, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. Nadeem

    My hard earned money is not going to reduce the amount BP has to pay. What a joke, conservatives have a telethon to bail out big oil.

    July 8, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Augsbee

    This is about men, women, children, babies, wildlife all hurting. We must all help each other as fellowmen. At the end of the day we the people only have each other.

    July 8, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Steve (the real one)

    This is just political....
    More like HELP the Tea Party...............
    An obvious and transparent attempt to woo Democrats..
    Still, I can't help but feel that the organizers will attempt to put some sort of political spin......
    To help which victim, BP....?
    Looks like a phony "grassroots" effort ..............
    Forget it. Any non-conservative actor/celebrity that goes................
    Ah yes, the voices of compassion! Yay liberals!

    July 8, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. GL

    Tea Baggers what to help out BP.

    July 8, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Jim in San Mateo

    This is nothing but political grandstanding. The tea partiers are the ultimate "All About Me" crowd. They don't care about the environment, they don't care about jobs (unless they don't have one) and they don't care about poor people. Tea partiers are concerned with two things: money and how much of it they have.

    July 8, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    After the t-baggers get their fees, there will be nothing for them to pay to help BP. Wha's the sense in this?

    July 8, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. g

    everyboby singing DRILL BABY DRILL

    July 8, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Twainland

    I'd be interested in see who these "celebrities" are. You know that Hasselback chick from the View will be there.

    July 8, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Matty

    Of course they are having a telethon down there. The sooner the ocean is cleaned from the oil, they can continue to "Drill Baby Drill".

    July 8, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
1 2