Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Sharyl Attkisson: We've been played

"We’re being played. Astroturfers often disguise themselves and publish blogs, write letters to the editor, produce ads, start non-profits, establish Facebook and Twitter accounts, edit Wikipedia pages or simply post comments online to try to fool you into thinking an independent or grassroots movement is speaking. They use their partners in blogs and in the news media in an attempt to lend an air of legitimacy or impartiality to their efforts. Astroturf’s biggest accomplishment is when it crosses over into semi-trusted news organizations that unquestioningly cite or copy it.

The language of astroturfers and propagandists includes trademark inflammatory terms such as: anti, nutty, quack, crank, pseudo-science, debunking, conspiracy theory, deniers and junk science. Sometimes astroturfers claim to “debunk myths” that aren’t myths at all. They declare debates over that aren’t over. They claim that “everybody agrees” when everyone doesn’t agree. They aim to make you think you’re an outlier when you’re not." http://fullmeasure.news/

My favorite is "research shows," or "it is reported," when in fact that includes a writer or two you've never heard of. I even use it occasionally if I remember a story and am too lazy to find the link.  But I'm not being paid.  A year ago I wouldn't have called the New York Times or Washington Post "astroturfers," but in their on going fight against President Trump (because they lost so badly and were embarrassed by their sloppy reporting), they've reduced themselves to that level.

No comments: