Sunday, August 22, 2010

An Armey of Dicks

Dick Armey, Chairman of right-wing astroturfing company FreedomWorks and former G.O.P House Majority Leader, wrote an editorial today for the Wall Street Journal in conjunction with the release of his new book. So let's start the examination with screencaps from Dick's WSJ editorial (that way no one has to click the link, Rupert Murdoch doesn't deserve the traffic).

An Armey of Dicks

Southern Beale, take it away.
But this is the first time we’ve seen evidence that a media figure like Rick Santelli knowingly took part in a conservative propaganda campaign. Why? Well, I'm sure the fact that his contract is up for renewal this summer had something to do with it. His Tea Party-enhanced national profile will no doubt help with those negotiations. But news that the entire thing was planned and orchestrated by conservative PR firms should be grounds for Santelli's firing--now. He just threw any suggestion that he had journalistic impartiality out the window to meet his own selfish ends. If CNBC doesn’t investigate this now their credibility is gone, too.

Point of order, Chairman! Long before there was a "Rick's Rant", there was the Queen of All Iraq and Michael Gordon selling war in the NYT, and before that there was Jeff Gerth selling scandal in the NYT, etc. But I digress.

Mark Ames and Yasha Levine:
What hasn’t been reported until now is evidence linking Santelli’s “tea party” rant with some very familiar names in the Republican rightwing machine, from PR operatives who specialize in imitation-grassroots PR campaigns (called “astroturfing”) to bigwig politicians and notorious billionaire funders. As veteran Russia reporters, both of us spent years watching the Kremlin use fake grassroots movements to influence and control the political landscape. To us, the uncanny speed and direction the movement took and the players involved in promoting it had a strangely forced quality to it. If it seemed scripted, that’s because it was.

What we discovered is that Santelli’s “rant” was not at all spontaneous as his alleged fans claim, but rather it was a carefully-planned trigger for the anti-Obama campaign. In PR terms, his February 19th call for a “Chicago Tea Party” was the launch event of a carefully organized and sophisticated PR campaign, one in which Santelli served as a frontman, using the CNBC airwaves for publicity, for the some of the craziest and sleaziest rightwing oligarch clans this country has ever produced. Namely, the Koch family, the multibilllionaire owners of the largest private corporation in America, and funders of scores of rightwing thinktanks and advocacy groups, from the Cato Institute and Reason Magazine to FreedomWorks. The scion of the Koch family, Fred Koch, was a co-founder of the notorious extremist-rightwing John Birch Society.

The Tea Party is not a movement of concerned Americans getting involved in politics for the first time. It's the GOP base, re-branded and crazier than a shit house rat. It's yet another example of a few right wing billionaires using their money, the GOP party apparatus, and the corporate media to manipulate public opinion and ensure that our government remains devoted to filling their pockets at the expense of everyone else.


Southern Beale said...

Well now you DO know that the Tea Party brand has been tarnished as a bunch of Southern racist rednecks, right? So they have rebranded themselves as "Constitutional Consevatives." Which itself is ironic since a lot of them are trying to unravel those parts of the Constitution they don't seem to like.

Funny, eh?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

And yet, they're all voting for Republicans.

They're led around by the nose by FAUX, etc. and when they all end up doomed to living out the rest of their miserable existences in Hoovertowns, it will be thanks to the people they vote for (and have always voted for).

Tor Hershman said...

Dick Armey
General Genitalia
Colonel Cox
Major Lee Hung
ohhhhhh, I'm proud of that last one

That's what the major said.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

It's the GOP base, re-branded and crazier than a shit house rat

Bush broke the brand.

when they all end up doomed to living out the rest of their miserable existences in Hoovertowns