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Faces of the Tea Party

Writer Kari Huus says: Volumes have been written and hours of television time have been spent arguing about the Tea Party movement, covering its celebrities and filming its rallies. But every movement is made up of individuals who come with specific concerns and fears, motivation and baggage.

Over the next week, msnbc.com will meet the rank-and-file members on a road trip through Indiana to get a close-up view of what makes these activists tick.

Not everyone we contacted in advance agreed to be involved, citing their perception that the Tea Party has been unfairly portrayed in the mainstream media.

“The chance of getting fair coverage from (your company) is less than zero percent,” one Tea Party activist said. “I don’t mean any disrespect.”

Nor do we. In this project, the goal is simply to put a human face on the wave of activism that has washed over the political landscape and become hard for Washington to ignore. In the coming week on PhotoBlog, we will be publishing portraits of some of the Tea Party activists who agreed to take part in the project, along with short profiles detailing their thinking, history and political actions.

We will also get a ground-level look at the Tea Party network — and perhaps a sense of its future — while they hold local meetings, attend rallies and actively campaign for candidates.

Stay tuned.

Update: Click here to read the Photoblog posts about the Tea Party members we met during our trip.