Intermarkets' Privacy Policy

Donate to Ace of Spades HQ!

Recent Entries
Absent Friends
Bandersnatch 2024
GnuBreed 2024
Captain Hate 2023
moon_over_vermont 2023
westminsterdogshow 2023
Ann Wilson(Empire1) 2022
Dave In Texas 2022
Jesse in D.C. 2022
OregonMuse 2022
redc1c4 2021
Tami 2021
Chavez the Hugo 2020
Ibguy 2020
Rickl 2019
Joffen 2014
AoSHQ Writers Group
A site for members of the Horde to post their stories seeking beta readers, editing help, brainstorming, and story ideas. Also to share links to potential publishing outlets, writing help sites, and videos posting tips to get published. Contact OrangeEnt for info:
maildrop62 at proton dot me
Cutting The Cord And Email Security
Moron Meet-Ups

Your Mom's a Ho(mophobe) | Main | Economic News: Good, with a Touch of Bad
June 17, 2004

Of Carnival Barkers and Shills

Allah disagrees with my characterization of Sullivan as a shill. The Shrill Shill, actually, in my Dowd-esque cutesey name-calling style.

He is a shill. He's the very definition of a shill.

A shill is someone who pretends to be an independent passer-by but who in fact is working for the house (or the carnival, or the three-card-monte table, or the Miracle Elixer stagecoach).

Falsely claiming to have no affiliation with the house, he encourages his audience to play or buy.

Everyone knows the carnival barker is an interested party; that's why no one much believes the carnival barker. He's honest and upfront about his interests, but that honesty diminishes his credibility.

The shill, on the other hand, has increased credibility, but only because he's dishonest about his interests.

Sullivan has been slamming Bush and promoting Kerry for a half-year under the guise of being a disinterested, independent party.

That's shilling.

Me? I'm a carnival barker. You all know where I'm coming from. I haven't precisely disguised the fact that I'm a pro-Bush partisan. Now, you all can and should discount my carny-barking because you know that I have a clear and announced interest in these matters.

Heck, I even lampoon myself for that on occasion.

But Sullivan hid his interests from his readers. For precisely the same reasons that a house's shill does.

Spooky Action at a Distance Update: Jeremy spoke in class today, and he tips me to this weirdly synchronicitous Hugh Hewitt piece in which he discusses, get this, deliberate deception in the blog world, to wit, posing as a partisan for one side while secretly working for the other:

Similarly, the inevitable backstab blog has to be on some political consultant's mind. Get it started and growing as a pro candidate X blog. Build an audience via tried and true techniques --including the purchase of blog-ads-- and then, late in a campaign, have the blog turn on candidate X. If any of the high profile lefties at work today--the Daily Kos or Atrios, for example--were to suddenly turn on Kerry, citing implausibility fatigue, for example--that would be news and a blow to Kerry. Could Kos really be working for Rove? The costs of starting a blog are so low that the mischief potential is quite high.


Kinda weird.


I also note the harsh reality that, while Sullivan wrote in the Advocate that his flip was entirely attributable to Bush's support of the FMA, Sullivan's blog has been increasingly hyping problems in Iraq. In other words, it looks like he's building up a pretext.

-- from Strange Women Lying in Ponds

Update: It occurs to me that some of my readers might not have grown up in the colorful world of carny-folk, hobos, and grifters, as I did.

I don't know if everyone knows the original meaning of "shill," but it's this:

The shill is the "independent stranger" who walks up to a three-card-monte table and "wins" three out of three times, declaring "That's easy!" as he walks away with all the money he just won. And then the patsies come to the table and suddenly find that it's actually very difficult to win.

In a con, he's the "inside man," the guy who poses as an ally of the mark, when of course he's working against the mark with the other conmen.

A shill is a con-man working for the house. He's a con-man because he doesn't tell you he's working for the house. He pretends to be just an average joe, just like you, who just keeps getting super-lucky at faro or roulette or who, perhaps, found that the Miracle Elixer the huckster is selling cured him of tuberculosis. He encourages you to play or buy in order to enrich the house.

That's the sense I mean the world "shill" in, not the broader secondary definition of a pitchman for some business or cause.

digg this
posted by Ace at 02:49 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Interwebz AWFL: "[i]Wait, are you telling me "juliegrace fucking br ..."

Moron Robbie - Women are more likely to accidentally kill themselves than be killed by a man: "A man spotted the shooter low-crawling on a roofto ..."

rickb223 [/s][/b][/i][/u]: "Every social media page I’m on, at least 2-3 ..."

blake - semi lurker in marginal standing (tT6L1): "PDT is in the hospital getting treatment, he's no ..."

Smell the Glove: "@547 noodus interruptus ..."

LASue: "President Trump, say the "person's" name. They we ..."

MSM (D-Everywhere): " Some person did some things. Mistakes were made ..."

AlaBAMA: "They roasted Sarah Palin for using a bullseye. ..."

TexasDan: "Difference between .22 and .223 in terms of diamet ..."

[/i][/b]andycanuck (Jh5b+)[/s][/u]: "SORRY [b]NO NOOD[/b] I thought the Biden sta ..."

Hour of the Wolf: "I suspect they haven't released it yet. Perhaps th ..."

Skip: "I am sure DJT will honor the Rallier who was murde ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64