The Billionaires’ Tea Party
How Corporate America is Faking a Grassroots Revolution
In the summer of 2009, shortly after Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress swept to power promising a new era of hope and change, a citizens protest movement emerged out of nowhere threatening to derail their agenda. Some said this uprising was the epitome of grassroots democracy. Others said it was a classic example of ‘astroturfing’ — an elaborate corporate public relations effort designed to create the impression of a spontaneous uprising. Curious to find out for himself, Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham goes undercover into the heart of the movement. He visits raucous health care town hall meetings where irate voters parrot insurance industry PR; learns that home-grown “citizen groups” challenging the science behind climate change are funded by big oil companies; and infiltrates a tea party movement whose anti-government rage turns out to be less the product of populist rage than of corporate strategy. in the end, The Billionaire’s Tea Party offers a terrifying look at how corporate elites are exploiting the anxieties of ordinary Americans — capitalizing on anger, resentment, and paranoia to advance a narrow, often anti-democratic, agenda.
Join director Taki Oldham and host Lisa Derrick for the discussion. 8pm ET.