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Anti-Palin Astroturfing Traced Directly to Obama-Connected PR Firm
Update: Rusty Uploading His Copy Now
| Main | Top Headline Comments 09-22-08
September 22, 2008

"eswinner's" YouTube Account Officially Closed 15 Minutes Ago;
No Defamation Without Representation!

I would once again stress that this is the best confirmation of everything Rusty alleged... and the stuff he didn't quite allege but we're all thinking is most likely true.

"eswinner" is not sitting at the computer watching right-wing blogs post stories.

"eswinner" does not have a staff vigilantly monitoring the internet for damaging stories.

Neither, for that matter, does Winner & Associates.

But the Barack Obama campaign, headed up by David Astroturf, does.

Barack Obama and the DNC watch this blog. And I've put them on notice since this afternoon that a story about them was coming.

Within an hour of the story being posted, the videos began coming down. Within 90 minutes they were all down.

That's a pretty fast response time. I didn't mention Winner & Associates in my hints. So why would they be on notice?

I only mentioned Axelrod and Obama.

No, I do not believe that a random Winner & Associates employee just happened to be reading the Ace of Spades website and suddenly came across a link to a story about them and then decided to wake the bosses over it.

I believe the Obama campaign and the DNC have been watching since this afternoon. And they put the call into "eswinner" to get those videos down and bury the evidence.

And now "eswinner" has decided to end his short career on YouTube, despite the fact that this was his Best. Day. Eveehhhhh.

If he was just some ordinary schnook who wanted people to check out his rad smear-videos about Sarah Palin, shouldn't he be happy he was getting so many hits all of a sudden? Isn't that the dream of every basement-dwelling wannabe Murrow of the Internet? Attention? Fame? Hits?

Why is he suddenly so shy to have his work seen? Why does he feel compelled now to delete his account entirely? To erase any and all evidence of his YouTube presence?

Why, just a week ago, he was so psyched that "FINALLY THE TRUTH COMES OUT!" Doesn't he want the truth to come out any longer?

If none of this is shadowy, as they will all claim tomorrow, why did they so quickly retreat from sunlight?

They don't even want you to see the video they were once so proud of anymore. What changed, exactly?

Questions, questions.

Why, you'd almost think that perhaps these videos were intended to fly completely under the radar or something. And that now that they're very much above the radar, they're embarrassing "eswinner." Or the client who has hired "eswinner" to peddle vicious smears under the radar so that the client himself could pretend he doesn't traffic in viciously dishonest advertisements.

If the media wants to know why this story is important:

1) It's calculatedly dishonest to attempt to scam the public with videos by "concerned citizens" which are in fact professional electioneering communications put out at the behest of a supposedly new-politics politician. People trust average "neutral" and "independent" citizens more than someone known to be an interested party. It was a scandal when it was revealed that stockbrokers were pimping their own stocks on day-trader sites, pretending to be just average investors with hot tips. Same deal here.

2) Such ads don't get fact-checked, as they're supposedly from regular schnooks. No one fact-checks a regular schnook. So Axelrod and Obama can spread lies about Palin, completely refuted and debunked 11 days before the ad was posted, and not worry about media busy-bodies calling foul.

The plan in this case was to tap into the massive traffic of the Daily Kos and have each reader send the video, under the radar, to ten friends, and have them send it to ten friends, etc. The post in question was likely written by a Winner & Associates employee. Just as Winner & Associates employee tapped into Democratic Underground, linking it there. YouTube ads are big business -- and this one was so stinking of outdated lies it had to be done under the table, in the shadows. Where no one would take much notice of it; certainly not the media's fact-checkers. But, if successful, it would go viral and a huge number of people would end up seeing it.

And no one would know where this ad came from.

The plan didn't quite work -- the lies being pushed were already utterly rubbished, and there were new, exciting smears the netroots were more interested in. But it didn't fail for lack of trying.

3) This is just the tip of the iceberg. David Axelrod is known as "the Master of Astroturfing," and this is just his sloppiest and most brazen effort (thusfar detected). You know what also doesn't get fact checked? The tens of thousands of coordinated comments smearing McCain and Palin posted every day on media and blog threads, many of which are being written by "concerned Christian conservative commenters" who are in fact agents of David Axelrod and the DNC -- either directly, as in on-the-payroll sockpuppets, or indirectly, as in big internet groups determined to do "the dirty stuff Obama can't do himsef."

Obama can't cast doubt on Palin's fitness as a mother without risking electoral debacle.

But his legions of busy, busy, busy internet sockpuppets can. He gets the benefit of the smear without having to accept any of the responsibility for it.

Rusty, by the way, will have something on that angle later, too. (My single contribution to any of this was telling him to cut his story into two pieces and just focus on the videos for now. Good advice, I think. The netroots campaign wil be a follow-up.)

These are all election communications -- and these in particular are putting out the most vile smears imaginable. But no one bothers checking their veracity -- and, crucially, no one connects them with the "New Politics of Hope and Change" Obama -- because they're supposedly just the chatter of ordinary citizens in cyberspace.

They are not.

Just like there really were not a lot of "regular concerned citizens" united in their urgent desire to see Chicago utilities raise their rates for gas and electricity.

They were fictions created by David Axelrod to dishonestly manipulate public opinion.

They were lies. It wasn't just what they were saying were lies. They were also lying about who, in fact, was speaking those lies.

Everything they said was a lie, including the "a's" and "the's." And, as a new twist: including the "I's."

Not only is this tactic dishonest, but it demonstrates a flagrant contempt for the intelligence of the average voter.

Here's a story:

Obama thinks you're fucking stupid. And furthermore, he thinks the only way he can win your vote is to lie to you.

On that last score, he's probably right.

Thanks to MatthewW for the head's up.

All the Winners Have Left the Field... "cnwinner" has deleted his account too.

The coordinated the beginning off this and they've coordinated the end of this, too.

Well... not the end of this. But they did successfully remove their accounts.

Don't you guys do crisis communication? I gotta tell you, you pulling the ads and your accounts down is, what is the phrase, consciousness of guilt. You realize you've pretty much scotched all the various "innocent mistake" defenses?

And how on earth are you going to credibly explain that you had no calls come in from the Obama campaign, that "eswinner" just happens to be a huge fan of Ace of Spades and Prof. Rusty Shackelford and just happened to catch the posts within minutes of their going up?

You guys are fans, huh? Really?

I don't remember any donations, guys.

I guess I'm more popular with Democoratic media firm executives than I thought.

Screencaps: of the accounts, before Mr. Average Concerned Citizen "eswinner" erased them all.

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