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Nat Geo Producer: John Wilkes Booth Poster Child For Tea Party

January 8, 2013 by  

Nat Geo Producer: John Wilkes Booth Poster Child For Tea Party
John Wilkes Booth was a member of the anti-immigrant “Know-Nothing” political party.

Promoting an upcoming television movie based on Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Lincoln,” National Geographic Executive Producer Erik Jendresen said that he believes infamous assassin John Wilkes Booth “could be the poster child for the Tea Party.”

Jendresen stressed that Booth did not kill President Abraham Lincoln in an act of random madness, but for political reasons. Booth, a member of the anti-immigrant “Know-Nothing” political party, held political beliefs that were fairly common for the period. Jendresen said that the views are still popular with a number of Americans today, namely members of the Tea Party.

“This is not the act of somebody who can be easily dismissed as a psychopath so that it’s easy to understand: ‘Oh, well, he was crazy.’ No. It’s more disturbing to find out who Booth was,” Jendresen said, according to The Wrap. “This is a man who believed what still probably 20 percent of this country still believes. He could be a poster child for the Tea Party.”

Jendresen later continued, “I think that if you look at the sort of politics of the time, and a lot of the epithets that were being hurled at Lincoln, there was a feeling in the nation that’s not dissimilar from what we’ve experienced in the past four years in response to Barack Obama – the sense of an imperial presidency or soundbytes about somebody who’s going to proclaim himself king and take over.

“It’s stunning to me to read some of the newspaper articles and some of the interviews of the time, some of the contents of the letters and memoirs from the time and some of the things that were thought about Lincoln in the South are so similar to … the dialogue today.”

National Geographic drew criticism from many Republicans and Tea Party members when it aired the film “Seal Team Six,” which highlighted President Obama’s role in the killing of Osama bin Laden, two days before the Presidential election.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Tom Cook

    Booth’s only failing was not killing the tyrant Lincoln in 1860 which would have meant he could not have caused the war that devastated the best part of this continent and cost half a million Southern lives. We don’t consider northern losses, only wish there had been more.

    • old hillbilly

      All of a sudden we’re trying the T-party for assassination attempts against Obama without due process, probable cause, or grand jury indictment… triggered by National Geographic’s executive producer – a public owned licensed corporation! National Geographic is a widely used as a fact based publication purchased by almost all education facilities. Harry Reed and others rant similarily repeatedly in official proclamations to the media!

      Physically violent union thugs, Occupy, and others inspired by progressive democrats disrupt, block citizen access, destroy property, injure people, and leave trash and filth behind them!

      The Tea Party is the polar opposite! No one gets hurt of physically threatened by the organization. The organization condemns destruction and physical harm. Their bond is The Constitution, freedom, and open responsive government; not oppression. Their following are democrats and republicans alike. Their mission is throwing corrupt democrat and republican official out of office by vote and enforcement of law, not violence!

      It’s past time to end the slander in court. It’s time to make sure no public funds are used to pollute public libraries, schools, etc. It’s time they defend their good name by legislative hearings to resolve false allegations by public officials – let them vent their venom and then hold them to prove what they say, wherein truth has teeth that bite!

  • Warrior

    Oh, and let’s not forget the voiciferous opposition to booosh, billy bob, gw, reagan, carter, lbj. No, it just seems as though this community organizer should not have ANY opposition. Show your “cherry pickings” in HD please!

    • eddie47d

      There have been assassination attempts against all Presidents and all Presidential candidates including Mitt Romney throughout our history! The difference is the increased numbers against Obama. He has received 40,000 since 2007 (since entering race) which comes out to 30 a day. So there are alot of John Wilkes Booth wannabees running around out there. Tea Party member Ray Geisel on July 31 2008 made the claim that “if he gets elected I’ll assassinate him myself”. When Obama visited Denver last year two guys were caught in such an attempt. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame!

      • Buster the Anatolian

        “There have been assassination attempts against all Presidents and all Presidential candidates including Mitt Romney throughout our history! The difference is the increased numbers against Obama. He has received 40,000 since 2007 (since entering race) which comes out to 30 a day.”

        Just another in the looong list of lies by eddie. There is no way there are 30 attempts on obama’s life each day. There MIGHT be 30 threats against him a day (provide proof of your numbers please) but not 30 attempts.

      • eddie47d

        Look it up Buster: Assassinations of Presidents,Attempted Assassinations of Presidents or Assassination attempts against Obama.

      • momo

        Once again eddie needs a dictionary to learn the difference between threat and attempt. There have been four attempts on Obama’s life, all were nipped in the bud. Obama does get about thirty threats a day.

      • eddie47d

        You need to look it up too MOMO. Written threats can be equally dangerous!

      • Dan Mancuso

        Semantics aside, I guess ‘people’ like you, with your Pinnocheo (sp?) nose stuck so far up your hero, Obama’s butt, that you just can’t see the light of truth and reason. That truth is, that no matter what the large number of threats are, the reason behind those threats is that very many people can see the evil and lies of this foreign usuper who calls himself President and the death and destruction he represents to America and the American way of life and want him GONE! By whatever means possible. Plain, simple truth.

      • Joey

        30 attempts a day? That’s so dishonest it should be a meme. Your lies trying to get pity for him are so hilarious.

    • Robert Smith

      Shucks… infamous assassin John Wilkes Booth “could be the poster child for the Tea Party and a hero to some.

      Trying to set Obama for the same thing?

      Murder as a political tactic… Clue: I think that’s unAmerican.


      • Mykel Board

        Murder as politics is as American as apple pie. Osama bin Laden, Khadaffi, Hussain, several failed attempts at Castro, Allende, Patrice Lumumba, and many more. It’s the American way… don’t like it? Kill it!

      • AChuck

        Eddie47, Id like to see the Obummer is abandoned by his party, I want to see him in that orange uniform, BEING DEPORTED NOT martyred.

      • deerinwater

        Well, Chuck, what you would “like” is not going to happen. So what’s the next best thing?

      • eddie47d

        upChuck; I like to see a few right wingers here being deported but that will never happen either. LOL!

  • vanessa

    You must be kidding thats right George W was dissed everyday by the media and just where is Cindy Sheehan? There are still soldiers overseas but she is nowhere to be found.(she was paid by the left) The truth is the “media” is as state run in America as it is in communist countries. The leftist slant is wide open and very strong. To compare to the tea party is ridiculous. Most of the tea party would like to be left alone in the country that is America. They believe in hard work and being able to save and live the American dream, and when the communist Prez. took over somebody had to fight back, with words, tea partyers are the last people that would ever assasinate anyone. We do it through political channels which gets harder the more voter fraud you have to beat. But we will continnue to try.

    • eddie47d

      Considering your rant about communism and leftists I think you have a lack of sincerity. What do you call the right wing media then that encourages the vilification of Obama at every turn. There’s not a lick of them that could be put in for sainthood or receive any truth telling awards themselves.

      • Chuck S

        We only criticize Obama the 99.9% of the time that he’s wrong.

      • eddie47d

        The other Chuck: You know that isn’t true! Who you fooling?

    • ken

      Well said.

    • Jana

      GREAT POST, Vanessa, Great post.

    • davidfarrar

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Vanessa. I am sure the vast majority of Tea Party members venerate Pres. Lincoln just as strongly and deeply as anybody else, perhaps more so, with the possible exception of some Ron Paul ideologues.

      And for the record, Republican Tea Party members stand in full support of legal immigration.

      ex animo

      • Joey

        A lot of them support NumbersUSA’s immigration reduction agenda and almost gave Tom Tancredo the Governorship back in 2010.

    • Joey

      Sheehan was Roseanne’s VP this cycle. The media just doesn’t cover her anymore.

  • AChuck

    The left constantly insults and lies about the “Tea Party” but the left control of the media was exposed by the FBI in the McCarthy hearings, the only defense by the left is demonizing the McCarthy hearings as a “Witch Hunt”. I get the “National Geographic”, I notice that a prime requirement is now: All contributing writers must put in a plug for “Global Warming”, Even if it has no connection to the subject under discussion.

    • Doc Sarvis

      There is NO requirement for all contributing writers to put in a plug for Global Warming. If you read just one issue of National Geographic you would see that is false.

  • Howlingmad

    SAM, if I were to meet you on the street, I WOULD give you, a SERIOUS “BEATING”. . . . How DARE you, include me, with a FOOL like that. Your clearly, nothing but a “Mouth Piece” of the LEFT . . . I hope SOMEBODY, points this out to “YOU”. ( Just as “I” . . . WOULD. ! )

    • Bob Livingston

      Dear Howlingmad,

      You write: “How DARE you, include me, with a FOOL like that.” Please point out where Sam Rolley mentioned you in the article.

      You write: “Your (sic) clearly, nothing but a “Mouth Piece” of the LEFT . . . I hope SOMEBODY, points this out to “YOU”.” And you are clearly ignorant and the real “FOOL” here.

      Best wishes,

  • Deerinwater

    John Wilkes Booth last 72 hours was gruesome , he swam the Potomac three times with a broken leg, waded thu a swamp for two days, Found himself unwelcome where ever he went and a finally allowed to sleep in a horse barn for a little rest. That is where he was found alive and asked to come out. He refused and the barn was set on fire but not before someone shot though a crack in the barn wall, striking him in the neck. He was pulled out paralyzed from the neck down and bleed out.

    The Civil war has been fought, ~ the outcome determined, the CSA is a defeated banner. Like it or not , most Americans understand this, regardless of what state they live in.

    We are not going to fight it again, in spite of what you believe. 750,000 people dead in 5 years is enough.

    • jcfromdc

      TECHNICALLY, no surrender document was ever signed by any member of the Confederate Government, nor did one ever exist. Robert E. Lee, Joseph Johnston and Stand Watie surrendered their armies.

    • JoeB

      It was Obama’s Mentor, Former member of the Weathermen (a terrorist organization) and Communist, Bill Ayres who said they might have to eliminate 25 million Americans who didn’t think the same way they did and could not be “reeducated”.
      The Taxed Enough Already party people want government returned to doing its Constitutionally authorized duties (which it is not–like securing the borders from invasion–millions of illegal immigrants roam our nation).
      If government wasn’t busy regulating light bulbs, flush toilets, and groping people at airports, maybe they’d have the time.
      If the National Geographic Society doesn’t get this fellow to recant, I will be cancelling my subscription.
      National Geographic inspired me to become a scientist, and their knee-jerk support of the Anthropogenic Global Warming Hoax was bad enough, but this crosses the line.

      • eddie47d

        Still don’t believe that global warming is a hoax. Haven’t seen any proof of that either. I do see what is actually going on with our weather patterns and how different areas are warmer than normal. I do see the ice melting. I do see the ocean temperatures changing slightly so this hoax talk denial is still a HOAX to me.

      • davidfarrar

        Let’s see: If you eliminate 25 million Social Security recipients…yep! that would be enough to completely wipe out the nation’s $16 trillion national debt, with a trillion let over , if my math is correct.

        ex animo

  • Glen

    I thought the subject of the article was hateful enough until I read the postings. Like may of the posters, I too am disgusted with the current occupant of the White House. I cannot even bring myself to call him President. Yet, assassination is wrong. There is an enormous probability that the union will disintegrate in the near future and all we need to do is to allow this to happen by avoiding tax causing events and saving our money in hard assets including precious metals. Then we can reinvent it, eliminating those states and individuals that are of destructive liberal tendencies. The result can easily be the most free nation yet, albeit somewhat smaller consisting of the South, midwest, and plains states that demonstrated their values in the last election. We should not attempt a violent overthrow but simply allow the apparently inevitable to happen and resist reinforcing a regime based on theft from producers.

    • Walt

      Glen, I agree on your views regarding assasination as a means to political change. Besides, could anybody seriously consider Biden as President of the most powerful country in the world? We truly would be the laughing stock of the world.

      As to your second point, I think you are prophetic in your analysis of how this country will eventually disassemble into smaller political states, much like Europe did after the fall of the Roman Empire. Looking at the 2012 results, it is apparent that the entire northeast needs to be on their own, along with California, Oregon & Washington State. They already behave like European socialist states.

      • jcfromdc

        Like Europe did, or just keeps doing? After the end of WWI, again at the end of WWII, or the end of the Cold War?

    • Dee

      Amen, Glen!

  • Carlucci

    J.W. Booth was very vain and a bit nutty, as many actors are. He hated what Lincoln did to the nation. He was also a strong supporter of keeping slavery in place. Like Mary Todd Lincoln’s relatives, some members of his family supported the North, while some supported the South. To say he is the poster child for the current Tea Party is absolutely absurd and it does not surprise me to learn that someone from NatGeo ignorantly says that. NatGeo DOES support the global warming theories. I remember an issue from a few years ago that they did on “Urban Blight”.

    If you want to learn about JWB and the Lincoln assassination, read two excellent books by James Swanson – “Manhunt” and “Bloody Crimes”.

  • laidbackrebel

    Hey Deerinwater, I think it is shameful of you to dash the hopes of Diane Feinstine, and the Lord Obams;s hopes of a new civil war, between the gun collecting police, and the local citizenry. After all they have worked unceasingly for many years to create just that situation, and here you go crashing their most sacred desires. SHAME,SHAME. What’s the matter, don’t you want LORD Obama to seek the relief of the Wonderful U.N. army to come into America, and quell the evil gun loving citizens? He will have no choice, since the U.S. Army can’t, legally take up arms against their own citizens. You are trying to destroy the well laid plans of Obama, and Feinstines bosses, the Illuminati, to reduce to a much lower level, the world population. The evidence of their plans is demonstrated in the fact that we perform birth control by abortion, promoting lesbos and gays, and every death dealing war they can possibly promote……and you would speak out against that……SHAME, SHAME!~!

    • deerinwater

      laid back? ~ rebel? We seem to have a communication problem

    • jcfromdc

      that’s Feinstein, Homer. Please. Unless that was deliberate.

  • jcfromdc

    Most of the people worrying about Lincoln proclaiming himself “king” were the editors and writers at Harpers Weekly, Frank Leslie’s, The New York Times, Boston Globe, etc…. in other words Democrats (and Copperheads, aka “Peace Democrats”). And what was Booth really? A Democrat. Most Southerners at the time disavowed “Know-Knothingism”.

    • deerinwater

      Most of the people? ~ or just people attempting to start something like they do today with wild claims and erroneous charges.

      • jcfromdc

        Read what I said, sir:
        most of the people who made the claims were editors and writers… etc. Nothing has changed in the last 150 years of “journalism”.

  • clark

    I have jokingly said that I had to rethink my position on mr. Booth, since the election of Obama. I seriously doubt that position could be considered as a normal position of the TP.

    As for Nat Geo’s belief about global warming, I also believe the planet is warming up. The difference is in why it is warming up. I think it is a normal cycle that comes around ever so often, and has nothing to do with mankind at all. I am 70 years old, and I have seen some obvious changes in the weather since my youth.

    • bfree

      I agree clark, I to had to rethink my position on assination.(in this case iit was tough but no its still wrong) Im just a pup tho(only 65) The shame here, is even hinting there is a minute comparison in obama to Lincoln . Lincoln was attempting to save this country while obama is trying to destroy it. If obama was right about Bush spending to have been irresponsible and unpatriotic then obamas spending can only be explained as intentional and bordering on treasonous. And the climate we need to change is in the white house.(you know the most transparent administration) By the way, 4 yrs ago obuma said we all need to tighten our belts. I agree and most of us have,but I just wonder,on which multi-million dollar vacation( at our expense) will the first family do the same?????

      • clark

        At what point do we decide that Obama has done enough harm to warrant being treated like any other child killer? If his economic changes are allowed to take place, then he may kill more children with them in one month, then all the nut cases combined. At some point he will have to be considered an enemy of society. If the economy goes under, our infant mortality rate will increase 10 fold, and the old folks like me will be considered undesired baggage. How many children died because of the great depression? One has to consider those possibilities when assessing the probable harm that can be caused by the socialist agenda.

      • gene1357

        You really believe Lincoln was trying to save his country? He chose a funny way to do it: un-provoked armed invasion. This was followed by utter destruction of the agrarian culture, and looting by the victors. He could have bought the freedom of every slave for a fraction of the cost. It was a bloody war of aggression.
        It should also be remembered that the Emancipation Proclamation freed no slaves in the north.
        Look at Marylands case: he invaded, and suspended Habeus Corpus, imprisoning elected officials for the duration.
        Sic Semper Tyrannis!

    • gene1357

      Sic Semper Tyrannis!

  • jcfromdc

    If anyone wants to know how Lincols was regarded in the NORTH, just read some archives of the Northern press at the time (Harper’s, Frank Leslie’s, NYT, Globe). Hardly a bunch of dringing endorsements, with frequent references to “apes”, “hairy monkey,” “that baboon in the White House,” and much worse. He barely got a third of the popular vote. It wasn’t all coming from the South by any means.

  • Elda

    This artical does not tell me in what way I am supposed to be like Booth. I can tell you I would not kill someone just because they believe different than me. I do think if someone takes an oath to uphold our constitution they should do so and if they do not we should do everything legal to get them out of office……republican or democrat! Obama is neither, he is a Socialist which goes against everything American. This artical or its subject matter is another exampla of how shallow the left is in name calling with no facts. It is all about how they feen and nothing to do with facts.

  • gene1357

    If the Southron way offends the people of the north, well just let the agrarian south go.
    All they ever wanted was to be left alone.

  • David

    The poster child for the Tea Party would actually be Abreham Lincoln. The members of the Tea Party believe as Abreham Lincoln did, in the Constitution and freedom for all people of this wonderful and great country. Don’t let this National Geographic “SOCIALIST” twist the facts and smear the members of the Tea Party who still love the only country on this planet that guarantee’s freedom for all of its people. The leftist in this country want us to give up our God given freedom and to tear up our Constitution for a liberal democracy like they have in Central America and in the UE. Those Governments don’t work. That’s why the people of these countries can’t get here fast enough. Our Government has
    grown to big and our politicians have become power hungry and greedy. Remember, the government told us that we would be able to read our new health care bill before they voted on it. Remember the more open and transparent government that was promised to us. Remember the politicians gave stimulus money to there friends and by doing so would help the economy. Now they want to do it all over again. Remember when people in government were servants of the people. Now they are demanding we serve them and not question what they say or do. Tyrany under any other name is still tyrany. Liberal Democracy, Socialism, Marxism it’s all the same. Slavery for the masses.

    • gene1357

      David, You could not be more wrong. Also you might want to proofread and check spelling.
      Now, Lincoln was the opposite of the Tea Party. He was a big government, big deficit tyrant. We are still paying his war debt. The only thing he tried to do that was right was to issue US money. In fact, that may have been what got him killed. It surely was the same scenario in 1963. US dollars were issued by Kennedy, to replace the Federal Reserve notes

      After the passage of the National Banking at of 1863, and shortly before his assassination, Lincoln tried to undo his mistake, (different bankers) same thing: “I cannot fight two wars at the same time; the Confederates in the front and the bankers in the rear, but of the two, the Confederates are the more honorable. I see in the future a crisis arising that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. The money-power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few and the Republic destroyed. I feel more anxiety for my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.”

  • Ajaxx

    I had always presumed that National Geographic was above such partisan hatchetry. I would love to know how Mr. Jendresen has arrived at his baseless conclusion. We all know that Abraham Lincoln was a conservative Republican and yet I am to believe the claim that John Wilkes Booth was a conservative that despised Lincoln for his conservative belief system. That makes as much sense as claiming that Lee Harvey Oswald was a poster boy for the Occupy Wall street movement and hated Kennedy for his liberal belief system.  How sad that National Geographic has lost any credibility as a legitimate media outlet.

    • davidfarrar


      I think, if you look a bit closer, you will find that the political leadership of the Republican Party thinks exactly the same way as National Geographic Executive Producer Erik Jendresen does.

      ex animo

  • BakerJohn

    Yes and did not stop buying Nat. Geo because poor Geo. articles but to much politics and unproven crap included in the magazine these days, like what former VP Gore is spouting, they should go back to the way they were many many many years ago, leave the politics out of it and stick to Geo. articles.

  • Chief Boring

    John Wilkes Booth was an egotistical psychopath. He craved attention and fame. His Brother Edwin had more talent as an actor and greater fame than J.W. The South had lost the war, so there was no tactical or strategic reason to kill Lincoln. He had already told Grant to “let ‘em up easy”, regarding the Confederaete soldiers. Booth changed his aim from kidnapping to assassination in order to gain noteriety and fame for killing the most famous man in America. The Tea Party consists of loyal conservative Americans, whose main aim is fiscal responsibility. It would not occur to any of them to kill anyone, especially if it made their position worse. The South decried Lincoln’s death almost as much as the North, because they realized his loss boded evil for them. They were right. Chief Boring


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