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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Astroturf wars

Believe it or not, the Koch brothers say that they don't fund the Tea Parties. The video clip above offers proof.

The clip comes from a new documentary called Astroturf Wars, which documents the ersatz nature of the teabagger movement. The website has a lot of good information.

The film also details the astroturf campaign designed to convince the public that climate change is a "socialist" plot. What socialists could possibly gain from spreading fake science is beyond me. What capitalists gain from spreading faked science is obvious.

I would also strongly recommend a book called Merchants of Doubt, which demonstrates that some of the well-paid "experts" who cast doubt on global warming are the very same "experts" who took money from Big Tobacco to push the myth that there was no proven link between smoking and cancer.

Astroturfing may be the most important story of our time. Astroturfing insured the election of Obama. Even if our current president had a change of heart and decided to take real action on the economy, he couldn't do it -- because the sowers of doubt and mistrust would create a public firestorm of reaction.

Astroturfing is the great failure of democracy -- one which the authors of the Federalist papers could not foresee.
It's isn't astroturfing, it's our penchant for sound bytes that is our undoing. We are too lazy to think.

Hillary Clinton had some unkind words for the broadcast and cable news media while speaking in front of the Senate Foreign Relations committee. She was wrong in her criticism. We don't want news, we want opinions that reinforce our beliefs.

Thats why astroturf groups are so successful.
The Work-aholic, Clinton, could not have foreseen that the Freshman Senator she initially supported would so invalidate her advice to work hard and learn the structure. Why work when a corrupt, sexist collective of Senators would set him up so grandly - rewarding his lazy, self-absorbed butt? They dismissed the informed, credentialed, responsive Senator from New York to take the pressure off themselves. The conduct of the US Senate begs the LA Times style investigation that has exposed Bell, CA and revealing an explosion of sweet deals these guys cut when they cut out the women. Trust us: We "get the news" whether the 4th Estate means to deliver it or not. Intuit this! That's why Trial By Jury makes the system work:)
Merchants of Doubt is an important book. Oreskes and Conway have both writing and science chops so the narrative has heft. The George Marshall Institute is the main antagonist -- this is the home to a cadre of scientists and flacks who have contested attempts to regulate second-hand smoke, carbon emissions and the arms bazaar. Some of the most prominent deniers, like Fred Singer and Robert Jastrow (who predicted that the Soviets were poised for world dominate -- in 1987!) are not only corporate elite shills but made their bones in military research/intelligence.
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