Astroturf

Fake Grassroots Letters Oppose Climate Bill

"As U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello was considering how to vote on an important piece of climate change legislation in June, the freshman congressman's office received at least six letters from two Charlottesville [Virginia]-based minority organizations voicing opposition to the measure," reports the Daily Progress.

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The Ultimate Irony: Health Care Industry Adopts Big Tobacco's PR Tactics

At first look, one might not think that the health insurance industry has much in common with the tobacco industry. After all, one sells a product that kills people and the other sells a product nominally aimed at putting people back together. But when it comes to deceitful public relations techniques, the health insurance industry has been learning well from Big Tobacco, which employed a panoply of shady but highly successful public relations tactics to fend off changes to its business for generations.

One of the things I said in my testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee on June 24 is that the health insurance industry engages in duplicitous public relations campaigns to influence public opinion and the debate on health care reform. By that I mean there are campaigns they want you to you know about, and those they don't.

When you hear insurance company executives talk about how much they support health care reform and can be counted on by the President and Congress to be there for them, that's the campaign they want you to be aware of. I call it their PR charm offensive.

Astroturf Expert Forms NIMBY Campaign

The new Virginia-based group "Citizens for a Safe Alexandria" describes itself as a grassroots group, but its founder works for a public relations firm that specializes in "'grassroots' and 'grasstops' media strategies." Citizens for a Safe Alexandria's Sara Raak has appeared on local television news, urging the Obama administration not to "

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Hot Air from the Firm Behind "Clean Coal"

"The advertising firm behind the heavily-aired 'America's Power' campaign, R&R Partners - Advertising, has come out with its own brag-sheet detailing the ad work it did for the coal industry's main front group," the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), reports Kevin Grandia.

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FreedomWorks Behind Tax Day Tea Party Protests

Who makes up the Tea Party movement? The Tax Day Tea Party protest movement is not as spontaneous as its organizers would like you to think. Chris Good writes, "Here is the organizational landscape of the April 15 tea party movement, in a nutshell: three national-level conservative groups, all with slightly different agendas, are guiding it.

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