Ben Smith startled to find out he got hit by astroturf job.
To be fair, they apparently hit him first before they went to stage two (local papers). As the latter reports:
In recent weeks, Light has published virtually identical “Letters to the Editor” in support of President Barack Obama in more than a dozen newspapers.Every letter claimed a different residence for Light that happened to be in the newspaper’s circulation area.
Ace is unsurprised:
As has been endlessly documented, David Axelrod was the “gold standard of astroturf campaigns” for his many PR clients. Astroturf, in case you don’t know, is “artificial grassroots” — a paid consultant attempting to create the illusion of grassroots support.
Readers of this site know we had a lot of “Concerned Christian Conservatives” who showed up in the months before an election to write the same script ten times a week…
…and then Ace goes on to explain what happened on his site, which is pretty much what happened on every right-wing site whose structure would permit it: a blizzard of virtually-identical arguments and missives that wouldn’t fool regular site readers but might persuade casual visitors that there was actually something to whatever it was that the Democrats were trying to push that week. If RedState didn’t have as many as some, it’s because we weren’t in a mood to let the Online Left take advantage of our hospitality*.
I bring this up because some people – God help us all – actually take me seriously on some issues, and I want to give some advice to conservative political website administrators: think about why you have a comments section in the first place. If it’s to add value to the Online Right, then aggressively monitor your comments section. If it’s to ‘foster a debate’ or some other nice-sounding rhetoric, accept that ‘fostering a debate’ to the Online Left means ‘sh*tting on your floor.’
*Frankly, by and large they don’t deserve it.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.