The Daily Kos recently uncovered an astroturf (fake grassroots) initiative by the George W. Bush campaign, which generated ghostwritten letters to the editor that found their way into at least 60 newspapers. This isn't the first time that the Bush administration has tried this trick, as we've reported in the past.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other civil rights leaders say the Republican Party is mounting a campaign to keep African-Americans and other minority voters away from the polls this November. "In recent years, many minority communities have tended to align with the Democratic Party," states a new report cosponsored by the NAACP and People for the American Way.
"Over the past few weeks of Presidential WrestleMania MMIV, the Bush campaign has fired off more than a dozen press releases about John Kerry's policies on energy, nuclear-waste storage, forest and water protections, and other environmental issues - a hodgepodge of smears, exaggerations, and obfuscations intended to besmirch Kerry's pro-environment reputation," Grist Magazine's Amanda Griscom writes. Polls indicate that swing-state voters are concerned about things like pollution and wilderness conservation, prompting the Bush campaign to "neutralize" the environment as an election issue.
"The far right's decades-long campaign to falsely brand PBS a leftist conspiracy - one that apparently included giving shows to such commies as William F. Buckley, Louis Rukeyser, Ben Wattenberg and Fortune magazine - has really hit pay dirt this year, first in creating a show around CNN's conservative talking head Tucker Carlson, and now, far more egregiously, in creating a program for the extremist editorial board of the Wall Street Journal," the Nation's Eric Alterman writes.
"I think there are a lot of reasons to be critical of the media in America. I think that a lot of times the media sensationalize or magnify things that aren't - that really shouldn't be. I do think there's a big move away from actual reporting, trying to report facts.