I Apologize for Calling Tea Partiers Terrorists Joe Nocera: NYT columnist says he went too far By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Aug 6, 2011 10:20 AM CDT 52 comments Comments Tea bags adorn the hat of a Tea Party supporter. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (Newser) – New York Times columnist Joe Nocera took flak for a blistering column in which he compared members of the Tea Party to terrorists, complete with references to jihad and suicide vests. Today, he issues a mea culpa. "I was a hypocrite, the critics said, for using such language when on other occasions I’ve called for a more civil politics," he writes in the new column. "In the cool light of day, I agree with them. I apologize." Nocera still thinks Tea Party Republicans wrongly used the threat of default to force massive spending cuts. And he doesn't hold out much hope that the coming debt supercommittee will do anything but make matters worse. "Undoubtedly, I’ll write columns about those negotiations. But I won’t be calling anybody names. That I can promise."