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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"Send a brick" is astroturf!!

I don't know why this jumped out at me, but the 10,000 bricks mailed to congress (note the round number) that the NYTimes breathlessly reported as "spontaneous grass-roots pressure" on representatives to build a wall on the Mexican border, wasn't so spontaneous and wasn't so grass roots.

It was Astroturf.

Have you ever noticed how all the astroturf groups are on the right? My favorite astroturf organization, The Greening Earth Society, a group which for a long time promoted global warming as beneficial (longer growing seasons, better farming to the north, remember that?) has disappeared from the web for the last six months.

In recent years, they've shifted their message to be just another global warming denial group. (They're funded almost exclusively by the Western Fuels Association which represents coal power plants.)


  • Here's some astrturf from the left:


    By Blogger Dave, at 2:57 PM  

  • That's a good one, Dave, I hadn't seen that.

    However, I gotta say, that's since this was put up at least two weeks ago, based on the May 15 deadline, that the fact that this generated only, what, 600 letters, I don't think it could really be called astroturf.

    It's more like one of those fake plastic grass doormats. That's about as big as this appears to be.

    That's really, pretty sad, isn't it?

    The anti-labor group gets people to go to the post office and pay shipping on 10,000+ bricks, and the top money dem group can barely get 600 to check a few boxes and send an email.

    Thanks for the comment, I appreciate the link.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 3:34 PM  

  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kirstenandersenfanclub/messages/15201?viscount=100

    Got that off of the Freepers site.

    By Blogger Tele, at 3:51 PM  

  • Dave doesn't have comments turned on in his blog but I'm wondering if he wrote the 'Niger Yellow Cake' speech or the 'Iraqi WMD' speech?

    By Blogger Tele, at 3:58 PM  

  • Hey, Matt, you inspired me to check out Dave's site/profile. Curious, a former White House speechwriter checking me out? I find myself wondering if this was what they call pushback.

    He was right about the moveon thing being astroturf.

    Curiously though, I've been getting a fair number of comments from self identified "conservatives" and obvious Bush supporters over the last ten days. Did I make the radar somehow? Is it because I got linked on the Hotline blog?

    Just odd.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 5:11 PM  

  • Mike, I have honestly tried to read some 'conservative' blogs before. What I find is the same story reapeated on the same day, posted about the same time. Whether it's true or false it's always the same thing. It's like there's some talking points email or the 'mother blog' that most conservatives get their ideas from. What ever it is, it's usually boilerplate or rah, rah(truth be damned) postings. Your notoriety is deserved Mike. Keep up the good work!

    By Blogger Tele, at 5:57 PM  

  • That's why they don't do blogs well. There seems to be a natural deference to the hierachical structure. That's a big problem with the Dems, getting and keeping everybody on board, whereas, the Republicans present a unified media message. It's like it's hardwired.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 6:35 PM  

  • It's definitely GroupThink.

    By Blogger Tele, at 7:31 PM  

  • But you weren't clear on your position with this protest. Another protest, somewhat in contrast with this one, would be the Kommando movement that posts small plastic army soldiers with political statements.

    I find both protests to be rather effective but I support the brick protest. There is nothing more jarring to me than knowing that we're allowing illegal immigrants into this country, who occupy our emergency rooms with cut fingers and minor medical cases, which drive up our medical insurance premiums to their highest points ever.

    The plastic army men protest? Let's see how effective it becomes. Either way, I wish both of the instigators of these protests much success.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:52 PM  

  • Frankly, I generally approve of almost any protest on either side so long as it's not racist, sexist, homophobic, or violent. I find people moved to action personally inspiring even if I don't agree with their positions.

    But, maybe that's why astroturf operations bug me so much.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 2:35 PM  

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