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Astroturf Hijinx

Wherein I hijack a letter from George W Bush.com and send it out with my own editorial changes:
Dear Sir,

You've received this letter because you were within a preselected area based on the zip code I selected.

The following is a pre-written form letter, disguised as a spontaneous expression of support for the Bush administration, that I am to send to my local print media. In modern parlance, this practice is known as astroturf, as in phony grassroots.

This is an attempt by the them to create an illusion of consensus for his policies and a nearly non-existent domestic agenda.
the following paragraph is but one of many that I am supposed to place in the body of the letter:

"America has a choice: It can continue to grow the economy and create new jobs as the President's policies are doing; or it can raise taxes on American families and small businesses, hurting economic recovery and future job creation."


By Google-searching that entire phrase, one can quickly determine that it has run in letters-to-the-editor sections in many papers all across the US.

Many editors don't know about the concept of astroturf, or need to provide content so badly, or are so pressed to meet deadlines, that these spurious forms of messages seldom get checked out.

Editors should rise to the challenge brought forth by the internet and it's ability to mobilize opinion, (or create the illusion thereof) and check for these deceptive types of communications, whether it be from a fascist oligarch, a leftist organization or a group with a vested financial interest.

People like me will continue to point them out.

Yours,
Mr. Name-Deleted-for-Security-Reasons.



We'll see if it runs.

I doubt it.

I've sent out letters last year regarding this matter before to the Oregonian, The Columbian and Battleground's little picayune, The Reflector (papers in Oregon/Washington border region).

Some ran the letter but cut the holy hell out of it.

One editor gave me back a snotty reply to the effect that they are would never be fooled by such a thing, but also seemed to take exception to my assertation that anyone in his trade would be. He seemed indignant about the tone of my letter, and my statements that editors should be vigilant about such deceptions, much in the same way that they verify that a letter is being sent by a real person.

Thanks to Angie in WA State for the inspiration.

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