It’s not like Chris Matthews would have you believe. Or Ed Schultz. Or CBS News’s Mark Knoller. Or David Shuster, wherever he ends up. Or even previous CNN reports, i.e. the legacy of Susan Roesgen. Traveling with the Tea Party Express bus, CNN’s Tea Party Report actually found patriotism, families, welcoming smiles, and – egads – an absence of racism.

All their white cloaks must have been at the cleaners.

Shannon Travis, the CNN Political Producer tasked with covering the Tea Party Express tour through five stops in Utah and Colorado, reported on his findings, a – what use to be termed “journalistic” – look at the movement that is uniting Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to reestablish the respect and authority of the Constitution within Washington and to empower the individual, not the government.

But here’s what you don’t often see in the coverage of Tea Party rallies: Patriotic signs professing a love for country; mothers and fathers with their children; African-Americans proudly participating; and senior citizens bopping to a hip-hop rapper.

In other words, here is what the mainstream media refuses to report.

Together, we beamed out images of the anger and the optimism, profiled African-Americans who are proud to be in the Tea Party’s minority and showed activists stirred by “God Bless America” or amused by a young rapper who strung together rhymes against the president and Democrats.

In fact, CNN even captured a photo for their article of a, yes, white woman holding up a sign saying, “Racism is Garbage. Do Not Recycle. Just Toss it.” She must have been lost.

Last week, Travis reported on disgruntled Democrats joining the Tea Party movement, interviewing a lawyer who had been a community organizer for Sen. George McGovern’s ’72 presidential campaign who says Obama has “carried things to an extreme”, a small business owner/lifelong Democrat who voted for Obama but now says she “should’ve listened a lot closer when he talked about ‘spreading the wealth'”, and a rapper/community activist who now appears at Tea Party rallies but who initially liked Obama and has now become a critic saying, “A lot of the things he says sound good, until you look at the consequences of what they will do on the long term.”

Some Americans who say they have been sympathetic to Democratic causes in the past — some even voted for Democratic candidates — are angry with President Obama and his party. They say they are now supporting the Tea Party — a movement that champions less government, lower taxes and the defeat of Democrats even though it’s not formally aligned with the Republican Party.

A recent Gallup Poll shows the Tea Party is not all wealthy Republicans, with 49% Republican but 51% Independents or Democrats and 45% making $50,000 or less.

Another recent poll, this time from Rasmussen, showed more Americans – 48% – identify more with the Tea Party than with Obama, with 44% identifying with Obama.

It’s amazing what you don’t see when viewing the Tea Party movement through the skewed lens of the mainstream media. That’s what Travis discovered, too.

Being at a Tea Party rally is not quite like seeing it on TV, in newspapers or online. That’s the reason CNN is covering this political movement — and doing so in ways few others can or choose to do.

It is important to show the colorful anger Americans might have against elected leaders and Washington. But people should also see the orange-vested Tea Party hospitality handlers who welcome you with colorful smiles.

Being an African-American himself, Travis said nearly everyone was welcoming and no one spoke in the crowd or from the stage with “anything that was approaching racist”.

During his report, he mentioned reports of health care opponents in DC shouting racial slurs to a civil rights activist and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus immediately following the health care passage in March. However, no one has been able to present evidence any slurs were spoken, as black conservative Thomas Sowell explained in a GOPUSA editorial.

When the triumphant Democrats made their widely televised walk up Capitol Hill after passing the health care bill, led by a smirking and strutting Nancy Pelosi, holding her oversized gavel, some of the crowd of citizens expressed their anger. According to some Democrats, these expressions of anger included racial slurs directed at black members of Congress.

This is a serious charge– and one deserving of some serious evidence. But, despite all the media recording devices on the scene, not to mention recording devices among the crowd gathered there, nobody can come up with a single recorded sound to back up that incendiary charge. Worse yet, some people have claimed that even doubting the charge suggests that you are a racist.

Shannon Travis’ CNN report, being so rare, has been hyped among the blogosphere for it’s honest look at the people, what the Tea Party movement has been requesting all along. Not biased reporting. Only fair.

Some of them e-mailed me after my trip, thanking our crew for fairly giving them a voice.

CNN’s Tea Party Report will unlikely change the “angry, white male” meme the media has carefully and inexhaustibly established, it will, however, poke one more hole in the false caricature.