Rumors On Tax Day: Tea Parties, Elena Kagan, and Financial Reform

06/16/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Yesterday was April 15, Tax Day: Did you pay your taxes? If not, Obama's coming for you, or so the Tea Party wants you to believe! In today's Wilshire & Washington, we discuss the Tea Party Protests that have been dominating the headlines, thanks to all the promotion by Fox News. But what's this? A blow-up involving Sean Hannity, being pulled back by his corporate overlords from a paid speaking engagement at a Tea Party event in Cincinnati? It's a fairly common practice for major media figures like Hannity to take on paid-speaking gigs, but was this event crossing the line for Fox News? There is that ol' timey journalistic ideal of reporting the news, not being the news... but does that apply to Tea Party regulars like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck?

While it wasn't a big shock, Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement from the Supreme Court this summer. So the big question emerges: How will the GOP respond to every single possible candidate President Obama nominates? (It rhymes with "silibuster.") But one of the more likely candidates, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, has already become a target - CBS News posted a blog entry by a former Bush White House staffer (and confirmed plagiarizer) that posited a rumor that Kagan was gay as a confirmed fact. Woah now, said the White House, promptly calling out CBS for lax journalistic standards, which eventually led to the post being pulled down. Is this what we can expect in the coming months, even with a candidate as amenable to conservatives as Kagan? Does it matter if she is or is not gay? Should we ask such a question? Why do we care? Can we at least know if she filled out her census form?

Finally, we talk the upcoming financial reform bill and the TV show, Glee. The GOP's messaging is going in one direction: That this reform is just another type of bank bailout. That's getting the Democrats scratching their heads a little, and not without reason. Is this strategy going to work for the GOP? And what happened on Glee this week? Apparently, one character has a few choice insults for Sarah Palin and the Right... but considering the character who is spouting the insults, should there really be any controversy? After all, no one gets angry when Hannibal Lecter talks about eating people - it's in his nature. And isn't that the most conservative belief of all - be true to yourself?

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Wilshire & Washington, the weekly Blog Talk Radio program that explores the intersection of politics, entertainment, and new media, features co-hosts Ted Johnson, Managing Editor of Variety; conservative blogger Teresa Valdez Klein (, and liberal blogger Maegan Carberry ( The show airs every Friday at 7:00am PST on