Alpha and AS3 dynamic text fields

Working on a project I discovered that the alpha applied on a dynamic text field is not working at all.  Searching for a solution on the web I found out that changing the blendMode of the text field  to something other than NORMAL, alpha will work.

var _textField:TextField = new TextField();
_textField.blendMode = BlendMode.LAYER;
_textField.text = "ugh !";
addChild(_textField);
_textField.alpha = .5;
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