How green was my astroturf?
Astroturfing: a neologism for formal public relations campaigning disguised as spontaneous “grassroots” behavior. AstroTurf is an artificial grass first used in the Houston Astrodome.
So this is the story Ace was flogging last night: Rusty and Co. at the Jawa Report have made a pretty convincing case that a “viral” anti-Palin video being promoted on YouTube and pushed by email to the Kostards was, in fact, a professionally produced ad with a big-time PR firm behind it.
Okay, here’s the thing: the guy who uploaded it on YouTube used (apparently) his own usual online username (eswinner), which is his own real name (Ethan S. Winner), which is also the name of the PR firm (Winner & Associates). The voiceover is recognizably professional talent who has worked on other Obama ads. That there is what I call a perfect defense.
“You honor, does my client look like a drooling imbecile to you? Does he suffer from a visible head injury? Do you see a wrench, mayhap, or a tire iron sticking out of his cranium at a jaunty angle? No? I rest my case. No-one writes anonymous letters and then signs his real name. My client is merely a professional Public Relations man professionally relating to the public.”
But here’s where the imbecile begins to drool: Rusty and Ace teased the story all evening but held fire. Rusty finally posted just after midnight. Within the hour, eswinner had erased all copies of the video, shut down his account and walked away whistling.
If there is any act more idiotic than trolling under your own name, it is trying to erase it afterwards. Dude. Duuuude. This is the internet. There is no erasing on the internet.
How smeary was the video? Was it effective? Did they do anything illegal? How convincing are the ties to Obama? Eh. Follow the links; those guys are all over it. Me, I just wanted to give scary-talented big time PR firm Winner & Associates the ol’ Nelson Muntz. Winner? Oh, I think not!
The innernets: you FAIL it!