McCain Puts Spamming First!
Team McCain has launched an exciting new program that, as WaPo’s Paul Fahri puts it, “combines the features of ‘AstroTurf’ campaigning with the sort of customer-loyalty programs offered by airlines, hotel chains, restaurants and the occasional daily newspaper.”
Here’s how McCain’s site puts it:
Help spread the word about John McCain on news and blog sites. Your efforts to help get the message out about John McCain’s policies and plan for the future is one of the most valuable things you can do for this campaign. You know why John McCain should be the next President of the United States and we need you to tell others why.
Select from the numerous web, blog and news sites listed here, go there, and make your opinions supporting John McCain known. Once you’ve commented on a post, video or news story, report the details of your comment by clicking the button below. After your comments are verified, you will be awarded points through the McCain Online Action Center.
Just when you thought your comment sections were safe from Ron Paul’s supporters! And, so far as I know, Paul wasn’t offering any fabulous prizes.
Ezra Klein is somewhat bemused by the whole thing.
[I]f you’d like to become part of the McCain action team, go here for some suggested blogs to spam and today’s talking points. Did you know, for instance, that “John McCain has a comprehensive economic plan that will create millions of good American jobs, ensure our nation’s energy security, get the government’s budget and spending practices in order, and bring relief to American consumers?”
I’m not sure whether to be relieved or miffed that OTB didn’t make the cut. I am, however, amused that InstaPundit, which hasn’t had comments in six years or so, did. Denise Williams, who also missed out on free spam, observes, “This is a perfect opportunity for those of you who are grammar and spelling challenged and cannot form independent thought.”
The odd thing is that this is actually begins with the basis of a good idea: Give people information and have them engage in the comments sections of skeptical or hostile blogs. Inevitably, though — especially if there’s a points system and prepacked talking points — it’s going to be a bunch of drive-by yahoos pasting in tangentially-relevant comments and going away. This will have precisely the opposite of the intended effect.
UPDATE: A correspondent informs me that he stumbled upon that page “a few months ago” and observes that the fact we’re just now learning about it means it’s not creating its desired effect. Quite bizarre.