Instant AstroTurf

The Bush campaign, realizing that their backers would love to write letters to the editor to show their grassroots support if only they had the time to research talking points, have thoughtfully devised a system to alleviate this problem. Visitors to the their website can choose from handy-dandy templates, where they merely have to check off the pre-written lines they’d like to include and –viola!– instant letter.

Markos Zuniga did a Google search and found that more than a handful of papers published letters so generated. He finds it less than amusing.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Allan Guyton says:

    Markos Zuniga did a Google search and found that more than a handful of papers published letters so generated. He finds it less than amusing.
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    I feel nothing…screw ’em!

  2. Chuckg says:

    Handy form. I used it to email the editors, but I wrote my own letter.

    As can anyone else who uses that thing.

    So screw ’em. 🙂

  3. McGehee says:

    The Kostic one surely knows that advocacy groups of all kinds have been doing this for years. In fact, I seem to recall an anti-(Iraq-)war group getting caught doing this back before we went in — caught by bloggers.

  4. jd watson says:

    McGehee:
    When I worked in the Colo. State Legislature, we would get thousands of identical form letters from various groups (teacher’s union, planned parenthood, etc.).
    How is this much different from the reports of journalists cutting and pasting from the AP newsfeed? (except they get paid for their non-creativity/plagarism)

  5. McGehee says:

    jd, if you’re looking for someone to defend Big Media, you’re barking up the wrong tree. 😉

  6. Say Anything says:

    Letter Templates
    The Daily Kos (via OTB) has found the letter-to-the-editor templates available to Bush supporters on the Bush/Cheney website. He took one of the talking points and entered it into a Google search and found that some 60 newspapers had printed…

  7. Pat says:

    It’s clear there is no difference between a letter to your elected official and a letter to the editor. Anyone who says different is a fool and a communist.