Was the teabagger protest a News Corp marketing event?

As I posted Tuesday, some people took time off to protest yesterday. I am not sure what exactly they object to or what they want. It appears that they don't like paying taxes and they object to government spending. Although they may not have realized it, their real purpose was to help News Corp (NWS) to whip up the faithful who watch Fox News and boost its viewership so it can sell advertising.

How did things turn out for those folks? Yesterday a few hundred people stood in the rain outside the White House and a few hundred more did the same in Philadelphia. But in places like Texas and Utah, there were more tea baggers. A thousand protesters cheered Governor Rick Perry when he suggested in Austin that Texas might secede from the U.S. And a crowd booed Governor Jon Huntsman of Utah for accepting $1.5 billion in federal stimulus money.

Here's the thing. There are 300 million people in this country and enough of them vote so that the thousands of people who showed up at the 750 teabagging ceremonies are not likely to make any difference -- even if they could figure out what they wanted to see change. Nevertheless, they have every right to voice their opinions and with the exception of the White House protest -- which was stopped when a protester threw a package onto the White House lawn -- they did.

Unfortunately for them, the government will continue to require citizens to pay taxes and it will use that money to provide services to those citizens. In the meantime, Fox News ratings remain strong.

Peter Cohan is president of Peter S. Cohan & Associates. He also teaches management at Babson College. His eighth book isYou Can't Order Change: Lessons from Jim McNerney's Turnaround at Boeing. He has consulted to News Corp.'s CEO and has no financial interest in its securities.

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