Legitimate grassroots movements are routinely subverted and co-opted by elements that had nothing to do with their original popularity.
The Tea Party movement is a prime example. Originally started by staunch Libertarians (Americans who support the direct interpretation of the Constitution) in tandem with the growing popularity of Rep. Ron Paul (a Libertarian-Republican political phenomenon), the Tea Party movement was populated by a majority of aging, white, middle-class Americans who are opposed to big government, foreign military intervention, as well as legally questionable entities like the IRS and the Federal Reserve.
Ron Paul garnered massive support from many different segments of the population in his bid for President. He received more money from active military personnel that any other candidate (Ron Paul was an Air Force flight surgeon, and has delivered more than 4000 babies), and raised more money than all of his opponents in the Republican Party in the last quarter of 2007.
He was also subject to mainstream media ridicule and blacklisting; at best, he was completely ignored, until his massive popularity (really, the popularity of his platform: laws that abide by the Constitution, individual freedom, abolish the IRS and the Fed, end all foreign occupations immediately) forced the msm to acknowledge his existence.
In a race populated by infantile John McCain, nonsensical Giuliani, and hollow Obama, Dr. Paul stood out as a representation of true American values, and thanks to the internet, he was propelled to massive popularity.
So when Ron Paul supporters began the Tea Party movement, it was a grassroots extension of the advocacy of his policies. These Americans wanted sound money, they wanted their freedoms, they wanted to express fury at the Banker Bailout - and they also wanted actual representation for their taxation, which is why they based their movement on the famous 'Tea Party' held in Boston - when crates of tea were thrown into the harbour to protest "taxation without representation" - people were sick of paying higher and higher taxes to a government that treated them poorly.
The new Tea Party gatherings were immediately attacked and ridiculed by the press, who took to calling them right-wing Nazi's because the believe in the Constitution, and by extension Free Speech, the right to Bear Arms, and the other provisions.
The left called them right-wingers and the Republican right called them lunatics - but not Ron Paul. He understood their frustration and sympathized with their message.
Once Obama was inaugurated, the Tea Party movement exploded in popularity, picked up by all sort of different conservatives and libertarian thinkers. It began to become clear that the idea of Constitutional freedom was very appealing, and across party lines. Many of the ideals of Libertarianism make sense to people on both sides of the political spectrum.
It was becoming clear that the Republican / Democratic divide is an entirely false, propagated paradigm - designed to divide Americans against each other, when beneath the shallow political surface, most Americans share the same ideals: Individual freedom, small government, no foreign war and occupation, human rights and decency for all.
It was during this surge in popularity that Fox News and other 'right-wing' media jumped on the bandwagon, claiming to have supported the Tea Party / Libertarian movement all along, when in fact they had been some of the most vocal attackers of Dr. Ron Paul and Libertarianism.
This had a two pronged effect: First, any one who leaned to the left politically and identified with Libertarian ideals was immediately pushed away by the Fox News association. Fox, after all, is the channel that disseminates endless war propaganda on behalf of the corpo-gov superstructure, advocating endless war and regularly deriding left-wing ideals and liberal policies. So once Fox took up the banner of Libertarianism, lefties wanted nothing to do with it anymore, not wanting to be seen as supporting or identifying with Fox.
(Again, the twisting of language is constant. For example, what we call neo-conservatives here in north America, are referred to as neo-liberals elsewhere.)
Secondly, it gave Fox the chance to regain their dwindling popularity with their core audience - white, middle class, conservative.
The American middle class, who just a few years before had been overwhelmingly supportive of the Iraq and Afghan wars, was figuring out the truth: That war is nothing but big business, and that America had been duped into occupation by unscrupulous politicians and a compliant media.
Fox had to act fast, before they were left in the dustbin of history as the War Channel - the media that didn’t keep up to the mood of their audience.
Once Fox saw their audience shift from interventionist back to Libertarian, they jumped on the bandwagon, co-opting the Tea Party movement - and acting as a cynical pollutant to its ideals.
Meanwhile, those on the left fell for the ruse, denouncing the Tea Party and Libertarian ideals, since they were now under the Fox banner, and throwing blind support behind Democratic president Obama.Obama, who has escalated wars, who has bankrupted the nation through bailouts and forced the purchase of health care insurance to benefit the industry, who has continued and expanded the domestic and foreign policy of Bush / Cheney.