So, starting from the simple notion that the government was spending too much and that we were Taxed Enough Already, an informal, leaderless, non-partisan "throw the bums out" grassroots groundswell grew and rocked the 2010 elections enough to worry TPTB. (That's "The Powers That Broadcast".)
As various more-or-less mainstream GOP politicians tried to scramble to the front of the parade, slip elephants into the march, and climb on the bandwagon, the mainstream media's punditocracy set to work with warped planks and thirty-year-old recycled nails building what they thought the campaign platform of the "Tea Baggers" should be.
Mission accomplished. The Tea Party©®™ has been successfully re-branded as the racist "angry white male" Kooky Wing Of The GOP with positions on "global warming, evolution, abortion, gay marriage, the Federal Reserve, the Department of Education, ...Social Security", vaccinations, water fluoridation, cattle mutilation, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids.
Good job! We now return you to your current episode of Dancing With The Stars, already in progress.