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How green was my astroturf?

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.

nelson muntz

“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!


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2008, 9:35 am

Uncle B and Gibby might be interested to know that Ethan S. Winner’s current official work assignment is helping the European Union to help sell the new EU treaty. Nice.

Comment from DefendUSA
Time: September 22, 2008, 9:38 am

Does this qulaify as negative campaigning? Ha. Glad we are not as gullible as those in the Ovomit camp.

Comment from apotheosis
Time: September 22, 2008, 9:45 am

I have a conundrum.

While I think this is awesome work on the part of all involved, I just can’t convince myself that Joe Voter is going to give two sh*ts.

Is that plain old pessimism, or does my belief most people are too intellectually incurious to attach any significance to it cross the line into elitism?

I hope not. 🙁

Comment from Jill
Time: September 22, 2008, 9:47 am

(stealthily picks up “Ovomit” and runs away)

(the word, not the Community Organzanizer)

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2008, 10:00 am

I suspect you’re right on the face of it, apotheosis. Although, on the flip side, what’s the point of sending Palin-smearing videos to Kos and Democratic Underground? Compared to some of the shit that comes out of those places, this video was mild. Nay, boring. (I’m behind the firewall so I haven’t seen them yet, but I gather it’s just more of that thoroughly discredited and really pretty dull smear that she belonged to the Alaska Independence Party).

But here’s where it gets interesting. John Q. America doesn’t read blogs and doesn’t care a whit. By that metric, blogs should have NO effect whatever. But members of the traditional media DO read blogs and mistakenly believe they matter, and so — ironically — the new media derives most of its influence via the old media.

And the blogs really are making a difference — the left ones most visibly. Ask Joe Lieberman(I).

Comment from Lemur King
Time: September 22, 2008, 10:19 am

DefendUSA… don’t know if you coined the word “ovomit” or had heard it before, but… that’s nice. It has a wonderful cozy feel to it, makes one think of mom (Ovaltine), and is poignant – all in one convenient snide package. Well done.

Weas, Palin’s membership with the AIP is debunked, but I hear from a friend who knows this guy whose girlfriend’s dentist’s mom’s lesbian’s dog’s groomer has it on good authority that she’s a member of the Michigan Militia. Isn’t that just the worst thing ever?

Comment from apotheosis
Time: September 22, 2008, 10:32 am

Good point about Lieberman.

Comment from porknbean
Time: September 22, 2008, 10:51 am

B.O. is dripping with sleeze.

Speaking of nerve-tingling pain, a tooth, that I have invested thousands of dollars to keep in my head, is starting to whisper whispery things that say ‘ouch’. Don’t think I could go through another root canal. *sigh*

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2008, 10:54 am

The great thing about the Leftosphere is that they’re more effective for the right than the left (again, think Lieberman — how’d that work out for the Dems). The unhinged ugliness they are wont to cut loose with is abhorrent to non-crazy persons.

And when they pretend to be John Q. Porkrinds and Suzy Sixpack, the effect is unintentionally hilarious. They so completely don’t get the conservative mentality. Kang and Kodos make more convincing Mobys.

Thank christ they’re so stupid, or we WOULD be in trouble.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2008, 10:55 am

Oh, dear, PnB. Uncle B has one of those. Been bothering him for weeks (off and on for years).

Speaking of which — Uncle B, I don’t know where my cellphone is. It’s not in my bag, so I’m hoping it’s at home somewhere. So…don’t try to call me on it.

Comment from apotheosis
Time: September 22, 2008, 11:21 am

From Michelle’s comments:

Stay vigilent,

We have to be squarely on top of these weasels 100% of the time.

On behalf of the noble mustelids, I am shocked, SHOCKED.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2008, 11:26 am

By the way…I’m still trying to wrap my head around the Sandra Bernhard business. I understand there’s a double standard and all, but can it really be okay to say repulsive, horrible racist things as long as you’re a lefty?

I can’t imagine myself thinking, let along saying, that Sarah Palin better not go into Manhatten or she’s likely to be gang raped by a bunch of big black guys. That’s the kind of thinking that winds up burning crosses in somebody’s front yard, you know?

But because she calls them “brothers” (and presumably approves of the gang-raping), it’s okay? Actually funny? Shit! I disapprove of identity politics as much as the next righty, but that right there offends me. That’s some seriously ugly racist filth, no matter who says it.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: September 22, 2008, 11:30 am

For mild toothaches, try brushing with Colgate Total (regular white stuff, not gel) every second or third day (not every day)…it has stuff in it that prevents absessing.

Comment from apotheosis
Time: September 22, 2008, 11:34 am

It’s okay for Sandra Bernhard to say stupid things for the same reason, and to the same degree, that it’s okay for any random drunk in an alley to say these things.

Her brief, quixotic flirtation with the spotlight as Madonna’s controversial squeeze du jour a decade ago didn’t carry enough weight to overpower either the essential vacancy of her character or more than passing facial resemblance to a Lake Chernobyl trout.

One can only suppose that her comments belie an unspoken wish to be the target of even that form of attention. Until that glorious day, she’s stuck marketing herself as an all-purpose cure for priapism.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2008, 11:42 am

I lived on the numbing wonderfulness of Anbesol for several years, until I got some old bridgework sorted. Of course the American kind is twenty bzillion times stronger than the British kind.

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: September 22, 2008, 12:04 pm

Uncle B and Gibby might be interested to know that Ethan S. Winner’s current official work assignment is helping the European Union to help sell the new EU treaty. Nice.

What an easy and pointless job that would be.

‘Hi, let me explain the EU to you. Oh, you say you’re not interested and nothing I can say will convince you other wise? Well, tough shit – you don’t have a choice! Now, assume the position!’

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2008, 12:20 pm

Heh heh. This is hilarious. This was in a banner advertising one of those colon cleansing thingummies. My mother always said people who believe you’ve got ten pounds of shit secreted about your person have NO idea of the anatomy, but this illustration is wonderful:

Really. Honestly. Does anyone think they’re walking around with…I dunno, looks like Big Macs and dirty laundry…just sloshing around free in their abdomen like this?

Comment from Lemur King
Time: September 22, 2008, 12:23 pm

Oh pnb, go get the tooth looked at. Really. It is amazing how utterly like dog crap you can feel and never know it because it snuck up on you.

I listened to as much of Bernhard as I could but it was like the Huey Lewis song says “… all you can eat for a $1.99 but one dollar’s worth was all I could stand…” I made it to about 75 cents and spent the rest on pepto-bismol.

Comment from Allen
Time: September 22, 2008, 12:36 pm

I have always found it funny that some folks on the left actually help perpetuate black sterotypes. Hey Sandra, are you trying to tell me black men have a propensity for gang rape?

As to the Turf Family, I was loving it. I could see the chum in the water that Ace and Rusty were ladling out. The shark surfaces, Bam! What a bunch of droolers. Bwahahaha.

Comment from Lemur King
Time: September 22, 2008, 1:00 pm

So how much shit do we have secreted about our persons then, Weas?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2008, 1:05 pm

About five pounds, LK. But it’s all right where it should be which — as my mother also used to say — is basically a 30′ hosepipe. No watch pockets or secret chambers or nothing.

Well, there’s the appendix. But you couldn’t even keep your milk money in that.

Comment from Lemur King
Time: September 22, 2008, 1:08 pm

Five pounds? That’s ALL? Crap. That means the bad news on the bathroom scale is more badder than I’d hoped. I mean, what a wonderful self-deception. “Oh, I must be retaining shit today.” Water is a great excuse so why not excrement?

Comment from Jill
Time: September 22, 2008, 1:57 pm

My ex-husband had that problem.
He retained it in his head.

Comment from Key Turner
Time: September 22, 2008, 2:01 pm

Someone has been going in recently and radically revising David Axelrod’s Wikipedia entry, but that stuff gets noticed, and put back–a waste of time, really, for the person doing it.

I think the Winner folks have done more potential harm than good by removing all the videos and then, for good measure, deleting their accounts. Given that copies of the video are out there and screen-caps of the accounts and some of the comments (including the Winner’s strangely posting comments to their own videos like they were absolutely strangers supporting the Real Truth about Sarah Palin, and not the people who posted and were trying to pimp the video in the first place).

Someone ought to set up a ostensibly pro-Obama front group and run commercials of folks like Sandra Bernhard “endorsing” him and attacking McCain and Palin. Get Margaret Cho, Matt Damon and so on to speak on behalf of Obama. That would be awesome.

Comment from Lemur King
Time: September 22, 2008, 2:02 pm

That’s a lot of water on the brain, it must do dama… oooooh… OHHHHH. 🙂

KT, isn’t that a standard democratic thing to do? Post your own comments or plant softball questioners in the audience – all the same thing to me. Get Helen Thomas in that speaking thing, too.

Comment from Dawn
Time: September 22, 2008, 2:03 pm

Sandra better not go to Alaska. Sarah has brothers, too.

Sandra Bernhard is from Scottsdale Arizona. So fake!

Comment from Jill
Time: September 22, 2008, 2:53 pm

LK, wink.


Comment from DefendUSA
Time: September 22, 2008, 3:22 pm

Sandra Blowhard must be Eve Ensler’s “blood” sister and fellow “sex” hater. Blowhard likes women if they are into her, but makes such a horrible comment about Palin? And, Ensler, man hater, thinks that cun* can be a beautiful word?

WTF? That has never been a nice word…Indeed, two liberals where tolerance doesn’t count and really never did. Glad they aren’t having to cover my white-yankee-male-loving-Sarah-voting ass!!

Comment from porknbean
Time: September 22, 2008, 3:42 pm

For mild toothaches, try brushing with Colgate Total (regular white stuff, not gel) every second or third day (not every day)…it has stuff in it that prevents absessing….

…I lived on the numbing wonderfulness of Anbesol for several years…

I’ll try the Total. If it turns out the roots are getting attacked – most of the tooth itself is tooth-colored porcelain with a core buildup at this point – the tooth goes. I’ll replace it with either a Chiclet or use the hole to hold in my cigars before I get shot into the ceiling with another root canal.
Right now there are twinges..so could be a weird sinus issue or maybe the capped tooth two teeth down needs more glue. *shrugs*

Comment from porknbean
Time: September 22, 2008, 3:55 pm

Ahhh…Henry Paulson. Read it and weep.


Pingback from Lies, smears, and underhanded skullduggery, thy name is Obama | Cold Fury
Time: September 22, 2008, 4:36 pm

[…] grounded in Muntzian philosophy. Never heard of the great philosopher and intellectual Muntz? Well, hie thee thither and edumacate thyself. Category: Fucking Morons, Second Coming, The Loony Left &#9830 […]

Comment from Lemur King
Time: September 22, 2008, 5:02 pm

Now I’m weeping, pnb. Last week I was in favor of bails only if it proved that there was dire dire need (a real threat of collapse). THIS scares the everloving dogshit out of me. No review, no accountability?

Comment from porknbean
Time: September 22, 2008, 9:13 pm

“Trust us, we are here to help, LK,” says the government.

They have not proven or made the case that everything would collapse if they didn’t bail them out. It never should have gotten to this point. Seventeen times, the White House sent out warnings….though not in front of a camera pounding away like they did when some congress critter tapped his foot in the john. 2003 a recommendation was made, 2005 even McCain sponsored a bill that would have headed this off….but no, Barney Frank, butt pirate extraordinaire, yelled ‘RACISTS’.

And now, just like the amnesty crap, all done behind closed doors, the foxes are in charge of the hen house…..and we the people have no leadership.

Comment from LemurKing
Time: September 22, 2008, 10:57 pm

Have no fear – I *don’t* trust the government, which is why I ask for transparency. This closed door, no review stuff – that’s some bad nasty stuff there.

No, they haven’t proven or made the case, but I don’t know how you would conclusively prove it either way given the hugely complex system that the global economy is (I hate that term and that concept). I could conceive of how events could spiral out of control, however, and that is enough to make me wonder what the odds really are.

But yes, it should not have gotten to this point. Everyone was so drunk in the orgy of money they didn’t notice that the taps were being turned off.

Butt pirate extraordinaire. I assume you are referring to his – uh – life choices? A family member of mine uses the expression “pillow biter” which has me shaking my head.

Amnesty is a lot like Uncle B’s description of how the chain of events lead up to the allowance of Sharia law in Britain. Amazing what can be done when you distract the populace and do things out of the public eye. It’s the Illuminati, I tell ya! Go play Deus Ex for fun, see how wild that kind of thinking gets – yet, sometimes art and games can imitate life…

I’m thinking the swamp needs to be drained.

Comment from porknbean
Time: September 23, 2008, 12:41 am

‘Referring to his choices?’

Yes, this is the same guy who had a male prostitution ring being run out of his condo and he claims he had no idea it was going on. Butt pirate is a better description as the thought of him being a gigolo brings up some bile.

Comment from Lemur King
Time: September 23, 2008, 11:30 am

I totally forgot about CondoGate. Or I tried to blank it out.

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