Prepared remarks given by Accuracy in Media Chairman Don Irvine at Accuracy in Academia Constitution Day event.

This is a very special week in America beginning with the 10th anniversary of 9/11yesterday and ending on Saturday with the 224th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.

Tonight we are here to talk about the Tea Party and the Constitution.

As you know, there’s a big difference between those who just complain about a problem and those who do something about it.  More than 40 years ago, my father Reed Irvine made a bold move.  He got so sick of all the biased media coverage that he decided to stand up toAmerica’s biggest and most powerful media companies and tell them they were wrong.  In 1969 he launchedAccuracy in Media– the country’s first grassroots effort to counter media bias with the facts.

The Big Media journalists were horrified.  They shuddered to think that someone was looking over their shoulder to hold them accountable for their news product, and predicted he’d be out of business in a couple of years. They made no secret of the fact that they viewed him as a hack and a gadfly, who lacked the authority to critique their work, because he wasn’t even a JOURNALIST. In today’s environment, he might even be called a “terrorist” and probably a “racist” too – simply because he wanted the media to tell the truth.

In fact, in June 1978 the former executive editor of The Washington Post Ben Bradlee got so disgusted with my father that he sent him a letter, calling him “a miserable, carping, retromingent vigilante.”  The word retromingent by the way means to urinate backwards.  Think about that.  I wonder how long it took Bradlee to find that word.

My dad viewed this name-calling as a badge of honor.  He knew he had gotten their attention. He was a lot like all of you here today.  He NEVER quit.  He just became more determined. And the more he stood up for mainstreamAmerica’s right to know the truth, the more his work attracted legions of supporters who cheered him on every step of the way.

He was Tea Partier long before we had a modern day Tea Party Movement.  I think the same can be said of many of the early  conservative leaders of that era like Phyllis Schlafly and Paul Weyrich.  All  of whom took an idea and at great personal sacrifice took on the liberal establishment to create some of the linchpin organizations of the modern conservative movement.

Our elected officials and their lapdogs in the press are trying to dismiss the Tea Party movement’s effectiveness with a name-calling campaign.  They resent the public challenging their “wisdom,” and believe they are powerful enough to ignore the will of their constituents. But this campaign is not working.

After all, you and I know that the real power of America still lies with individual citizens who – time after time – have stood up for the principles and values upon which this country was founded – and who are not afraid to speak truth to power in order to protect America’s freedom.

Let me close with the words of Ronald Reagan in his farewell address:

We the people tell the government what to do.

It doesn’t tell us.

We the people are the driver, the government is the car.

And we decide where it should go, and by what route and how fast.

Almost all the world’s constitutions are documents of which governments tell the people what their privileges are>

Our constitution is a document in which we the people tell the government what it is allowed to do.

We the people are free.

Thank you.