Complete with plastic insects

Astroturfing, as described by Infogalactic:

Astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization (e.g., political, advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by grassroots participant(s). It is a practice intended to give the statements or organizations credibility by withholding information about the source’s financial connection. The term astroturfing is derived from AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to resemble natural grass, as a play on the word “grassroots.” The implication behind the use of the term is that there are no “true” or “natural” grassroots, but rather “fake” or “artificial” support, although some astroturfing operatives defend the practice.

One particularly egregious example of this appeared on page 16A of The Oklahoman this morning:

Not even a nickel?

“PAID ADVERTISING” appears in largish print near the top, as would seem appropriate. Where things get artificial is at the bottom:


PAID FOR BY OKLAHOMANS FOR BETTER ROADS AND BRIDGES
BOBBY STEM, TREASURER
636 NE 41ST STREET, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA 73105
405-520-1874 OR BSTEM@WEBUILDOKLAHOMA.COM

It took all of four seconds to trace this back to the Association of General Contractors. Now I don’t have any problem with AOGC trying to wangle funding out of the state, as does seemingly every interest group from Black Mesa to Bokchito. But I object strenuously to this “Oklahomans for Better Roads and Bridges” nonsense, obviously intended to imply that your neighbors and mine contributed to the ideas and the cost of this Paid Advertisement; it’s a PAC, nothing more, with over a million dollars on hand to spend on fund-wangling. If we’re going to have PACs, and by all indications we are, the very least we can do is to require them to identify themselves as such.





5 comments

  1. McG »

    2 April 2017 · 8:35 pm

    People who would believe an organization favoring a tax hike is grassroots, would also believe it’s a splendid idea to vote Yes on an incomprehensible ballot question.

  2. CGHill »

    2 April 2017 · 8:39 pm

    Of which we have an abundance.

    Incomprehensible ballot questions, I mean.

  3. Holly H »

    3 April 2017 · 9:26 am

    Yes, State Question 777 comes to mind. Who can decipher what this gibberish actually means? “It protects the rights of citizens and lawful residents to engage in farming and ranching practices. It prohibits the Legislature from passing laws that would take away the right to employ agricultural technology and livestock production without a compelling state interest. It provides for interpretation of the section. ”

    Huh?

  4. Jay »

    3 April 2017 · 12:23 pm

    Authentic frontier gibberish? Charles, have you been to the statehouse lately?

  5. fillyjonk »

    3 April 2017 · 12:32 pm

    Maybe the state questions are actually Rorschach tests, where there’s really nothing there, but your brain fills in a pattern (“It looks like a bunny to me, doc!”)

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