Thursday, April 16, 2009

Astro-turf tea parties

When logged out of my Hotmail account last evening, I found the following link on the web site:

Anti-tax 'tea parties' vent anger across U.S. - Life-

These are supposed to represent grass-roots opposition to President Obama's economic policies. We are told that these policies oppress US taxpayers by taking away their hard-earned money, while leaving a legacy of debt to younger generations. Even, however, acknowleged that the rallies were promoted by a conservative think tank called FreedomWorks.

This post on the progressive web site AlterNet tells a slightly different story:
(A)s with so much on the right, these apparent displays of populist rage are not what they will seem.

Six weeks ago, two of us (Mark Ames and Yasha Levine) published an investigation exposing the nascent "Tea Party" protest movement for what it really is: a carefully planned AstroTurf (or "fake grassroots") lobby campaign hatched and orchestrated by the conservative advocacy organization FreedomWorks. Within days, pieces of the scam had crumbled, exposing a small group of right-wing think tanks and shady nonprofits at its core.

The whole AlterNet post is well worth reading.

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