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January 22, 2010

Politico Notices: Hey, There Seems to be Some Light-to-Moderate Astroturfing Going on for Obama

As has been endlessly documented, David Axelrod was the "gold standard of astroturf campaigns" for his many PR clients. Astroturf, in case you don't know, is "artificial grassroots" -- a paid consultant attempting to create the illusion of grassroots support.

Readers of this site know we had a lot of "Concerned Christian Conservatives" who showed up in the months before an election to write the same script ten times a week:

1) I'm a Christan.

2) I'm a conservative. I voted for Regan and both Bushes!

3) But I have these concerns about McCain and Palin... like, did you know that Palin tried to ban all books about dinosaurs from public libraries? And that her daughter got knocked up and is, we can surmise, the victim of bad, slutty parenting? Google it! Anyway, this gives me concern as a Christian Conservative... I'm just saying, as a Christian Conservative, I want to vote for McCain/Palin, but all these concerns about them are making me consider Obama... and maybe you should too!

This happened so often it was definitely organized. Perhaps not by Axelrod-- we could never prove that -- but somewhere out in lefty-land, on Organizing for America, a bunch of lefties got the idea to "Moby" (discojagoff Moby suggested this tactic in 2004) and write comments on rightwing blogs to depress the vote and encourage crossover voting for Obama.

(This is why some of you are accused of being "concern trolls," which I think may have been a term created by 4chan to describe this (or a similar) sort of thing. We have, in fact, had this go on here -- and people are a little quick on the trigger to throw out the accusation. But it did really happen. Oddly, after the election, all these Concerned Christian Conservatives stopped posting on the blog. They no longer had any interest in sharing their concerns with us.)

Whether Axelrod (did I mention? "the gold standard of astroturf campaigns") is behind any of this, I don't know (but he almost certainly is).

And it's happening yet again.

In recent weeks, Light has published virtually identical “Letters to the Editor” in support of President Barack Obama in more than a dozen newspapers.Every letter claimed a different residence for Light that happened to be in the newspaper’s circulation area.

“It’s time for Americans to realize that governing is hard work, and that a president can’t just wave a magic wand and fix everything,” said a letter from alleged Philadelphian Ellie Light, that was published in the Jan. 19 edition of The Philadelphia Daily News.

A letter from Light in the Jan. 20 edition of the San Francisco Examiner concluded with an identical sentence, but with an address for Light all the way across the country in Daly City, California.

Variations of Light’s letter ran in Ohio’s Mansfield News Journal on Jan. 13, with Light claiming an address in Mansfield; in New Mexico’s Ruidoso News on Jan. 12, claiming an address in Three Rivers; in South Carolina’s The Sun News on Jan. 18, claiming an address in Myrtle Beach; and in the Daily News Leader of Staunton, Virginia on Jan. 15, claiming an address in Waynesboro. Her publications list includes other papers in Ohio, West Virginia, Maine, Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania and California, all claiming separate addresses.

Light – who e-mailed an identical missive to this reporter on Jan. 16 without listing a hometown – would not answer e-mailed questions about the address discrepancies in newspapers that ran her letter, or her identity, although she did say she wasn’t a former co-worker of this reporter’s who had a similar name.

Create the illusion of a inevitability. Make people think they are almost alone in disapproving of Obama, so that they self-censor and won't say they disapprove of Obama, and thereby make other people think they're alone in that too.

PR, PR, PR. Spin, spin, spin. Alinsky, Alinsky, Alinsky.

It was always dishonest. Now it's just pathetic.

Thanks to AHFF Geoff.


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posted by Ace at 12:41 PM

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