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The Daily Show zeroes in on 'buycotts' and Gina Loudon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 5, 2009 - Gina Loudon, a leader in the local Tea Party movement and wife of former west St. Louis County state Sen. John Loudon, is in New York today for two events that are likely to put her in the national spotlight:

  • A "Whole Foods Buycott" this afternoon at one of the chain's stores in Paramus, New Jersey.
  • An appearance on Jon Stewart's "Daily Show'' on Comedy Central.

Loudon said this afternoon that she spent almost three hours taping the "Daily Show" segment, where she is interviewed by one of the show's correspondents, Wyatt Cenac, about the "buycott" on New Jersey.

Loudon said the show had called her a couple weeks ago to request an interview and to find out the locale of the nearest "buycott."

She acknowledged the risk in being interviewed on the mock news show, where the questions in today's interview ranged from details about the buycott to what kind of car she drives and the food she eats.

Loudon chuckled that Cenac was trying to determine "whether I'm a closet liberal."

Loudon expected that the segment would air later this week.

Loudon called before the "buycott" was getting underway in New Jersey. It's the fourth such action organized by conservatives to show support for Whole Foods' chief executive John Mackey, who has come under fire for his criticisms of the Obama administration's initiatives regarding the economy and health care.

The first "buycott," in St. Louis, conducted five weeks ago, attracted at least 1,000 like-minded shoppers and generated at least $45,000 in new income for the Whole Foods store in west St. Louis County, organizers say. (Whole Foods didn't comment.)

Now, Loudon said, the question is whether to broaden the concept and use buycotts to support other businesses or individuals "who are willing to stand up for free speech and the free market."

She and other Tea Party leaders are eager -- and perhaps, a bit nervous -- to see the Daily Show's take on all this.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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