To Turf or Not to Turf? Contest and Experiment

What is the best response to the Astroturf campaign kos noted today over on his front page? Would it be better to write letters to each of the papers showing them how they were duped, or would it be better to ramp up an Astroturf campaign of our own? Personally, I think both. Thus, I would like to announce a contest!

Use this thread to write a pro-Kerry or anti-Bush letter to the editor. Make sure that it is no more than 150 words in length. Over the next week, I will personally email the letter our readers judge to be the best to 400 different newspapers just to see how many of them bite and actually print the thing. I will subsequently write a follow-up letter to each newspaper that prints the letter telling them they have been punked. Hopefully this will undercut future right-wing astroturf campaigns.

Tags: Media (all tags)

Comments

5 Comments

I agree
Duping 400 Op editors across the nation AND then pointing out their mistake WILL NOT help the "cause".  I am more interested in a mechanism to contact 400 papers based on location.  Imagine a resource for the lefty-blogging community that would allow us to easily contact OpEd's based on location.  We could easily contact local papers (state wide?) or contact papers local to relevant news (eg. Bush campaign denies teacher the right to attend local rally).

be good,
c

by c 2004-08-17 05:36PM | 0 recs
Nothing new about astroturf
Letter writing campaigning using boilerplate letters is a very old tactic, one that newspapers have long been well aware of. The only thing that's new is the fact that Google makes it easy to check.

These letters are pretty easy to spot -- you'll see them fairly frequently if you follow a letters section. Newspaper editors either don't care that they're canned or don't want to bother checking to see if they are part of an organized campaign. Either way, your project is unlikely to produce any new heat or light.

by smith 2004-08-17 05:39PM | 0 recs
Dont Email
Don't Email - It's more likely to get published if it comes on paper.  Real astroturf letterwriting works because local yokels send in the letters from local addresses, so the paper thinks it is actually getting the opinions of local residents and readers.  

It'd be better to just have MyDD readers send the letter by snail-mail to their local paper.

But, if you must email-blast, at a minimum, send each email separately, not cc:'d.

by Silent E 2004-08-18 04:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Out turf the turf
You may have something there.

Of course, I enjoy instigation.

by clawed 2004-08-18 07:41AM | 0 recs
and i would know
the proper spelling according to the brilliant mr. kutcher is Punk'd!
like oh my gawd i cannot belieeeeve you didn't know that!
;P
by lauren s 2004-08-18 08:17AM | 0 recs

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