If a political movement, however loosely aggregated, is driving the policies of one party, it deserves copious and probing coverage.
We've got the copious coverage for sure. I would say that most of the coverage has failed the "probing" part. News media on the right has tried to show them as a massive populist uprising against the President's socialist agenda. News media on the left has tried to show them as a bunch of ignorant, crackpot, racist Republicans. The truth, predictably, is somewhere in between. Actually, the one place where it's possible to get really good and fair coverage of the Tea Party movement is... Dave Weigel, late of the Washington Independent, now at WaPo.