NPR's Tell Me More devoted a panel to the fact that Fox News created, sponsored, hyped, and otherwise bears complete and total responsibility for the tea parties. And Fox wouldn't come on the show!

This is interesting in light of the fact that Fox has made a practice of stalking people who refuse to come on the Factor Zone and face Bill O'Reilly's tough-but-fair stream of sexual innuendo. A Fox producer recently explained the tactic to the New York Times: "We're trying to get answers from people.... Sometimes the only way to get them is via these methods." Jesse Watters, another Fox producer who actually has the job of following slight young women for hours while they go on weekend trips with their boyfriends and then ambushing them with a camera crew even though they never had any idea that Fox wanted to "get answers" from them because they were never asked to come on O'Reilly's show, has summarized it thusly: "If they don't come to us, we'll go to them."

When the reporter who wrote the above-mentioned Times piece tried to "get answers" from Watters, the big-talking manly man declined. But at least Fox was willing to put someone up to defend themselves.

No such luck for NPR. Said host Michel Martin:

And I should mention at this point that we asked Fox News for a representative to come on the program to characterize how they view their coverage of these tea parties. We worked at it all day and after repeated requests, they declined to provide a guest or issue a statement or assist in our conversation in any way. So, I think it's fair to point that out.

And balanced!