Saturday, September 04, 2004

OJR article: Letters Editors Flummoxed Over Weed-Like 'Astroturf' Growth

OJR article: Letters Editors Flummoxed Over Weed-Like 'Astroturf' Growth:
"The practice of creating a fake grassroots campaign is known as 'astroturf,' and it has been employed by groups on all sides of political debate, mainly to create an organized groundswell of support for an issue or candidate with the hope that the organizational apparatus won't show through. But Republicans struck astroturf gold in 2003, with a letter on Bush 'demonstrating genuine leadership' running in more than 100 newspapers including The Boston Globe and USA Today. That was one of many form letters generated by the GOPTeamLeader.com site, where volunteers earn 'points' (redeemed for merchandise) for getting letters printed.

While that instance and others led to many media reports on the practice, that didn't stop a recent outbreak of astroturf ("America's economy is strong and getting stronger") generated by the GeorgeWBush.com campaign site's letter-generating tool, this time hitting 29 smaller newspapers and counting."

http://ojr.org/ojr/workplace/1093396596.php
con·cept: OJR article: Letters Editors Flummoxed Over Weed-Like 'Astroturf' Growth