Politically Short, by Nick Short, April 19, 2016:
What if all isn’t as it seems? What if the reality you found is completely false and contradictory to the reality you are told exists? The stories that now predominate the news headlines in America are not actually news at all. What passes for the news today is nothing more than carefully constructed narratives created by unseen special interests designed to manipulate your opinion while pushing an artificial agenda. This is the essence of what veteran investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson defines as astroturf.
Attkisson explains that astroturf disguises itself as being legitimate while in actuality it’s not as astroturf is a “perversion of grassroots by corporations, special interests and political interests of all stripes exploiting the media and the internet to try and convince you [that] there’s widespread support for or against an agenda when there’s not.” 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,” notes Attkisson. Furthermore, astroturf’s biggest accomplishment is when it crosses over into semi-trusted news organizations that unquestioningly cite or copy it.
The language of astroturfers is easily identifiable when one begins to understand the concept of it. “Astroturfers,” writes Attkisson, “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.” To get an idea of how this works within today’s news media astroturfers consistently follow a top-down pattern that begins with any number of selected issues that they’d like to push. For instance, issues that they push range from climate change to gun control and immigration to racism.
Once the issue is identified, the astroturfers push the agenda down the totem pole to propaganda promulgators and non-profit organizations as well as super-Pacs funded by liberal special interests. Examples of propaganda promulgators range from a plethora of liberal organizations posing as “media watchdogs” such as Media Matters for America, ThinkProgress,Talking Points Memo, and think tanks such as the Center For American Progress. Working in conjunction with the White House and Congress, these propaganda outlets work in tandem with liberal non-profits and donors such as Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Rupert Murdoch, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bob Iger to disseminate talking points which spread into action.
Once the issue reaches the action portion of the astroturf agenda, coordinated protests are launched as well as targeted PR campaigns on social media that link back to artificially created reports, articles, and studies with the intention of making you believe that there is a massive grassroots movement supporting a specific agenda. From this point on the astroturf campaign is then picked up by quasi and official news organizations such as BuzzFeed, Politico, HuffingtonPost, Salon, Daily Kos, New York Times, and the Washington Post. Those outlets then spread the astroturf propaganda to official news organizations such ABC, NBC, and CBS. Before you know it the nightly headlines are all transformed into reporting the same narrative about the same issue stemming from the same exact original source. The end of this carefully carried out and constructed astroturf campaign always results in the manipulation of Americans opinions as they are persuaded to the point in which they begin to demand that the astroturf issue be resolved via government action or that organizations and individuals who do not support the issue be marginalized and discredited.
Now that you have a rough idea of what astroturf looks like in regards to its basic structure, the following is a real life example of how it looks today with the issue being that of immigration. On March 29, 2016, the astroturf campaign officially began as an organization called the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE) working in conjunction with Welcoming America announced that twenty different communities throughout the country had been selected to integrate immigrants, both legal and illegal, as well as refugees into their community as part of the Gateways for Growth Challenge.
The following communities were selected for the award:
Akron and Summit County, OH
Kansas City, KS/MO
Los Angeles, CA
Macomb County, MI
New Orleans, LA
Phoenix, AZ and Arizona State
San Jose, CA
Salt Lake County, UT
Upstate NY Region (Syracuse/Buffalo, NY)
The official website for PNAE explains that the concept behind Gateways for Growth is to “invite communities across the United States to apply for research, technical assistance, and matching grants to support the development and implementation of multi-sector strategic plans for welcoming and integrating new Americans.” These communities, whether the communities are aware of it or not, are part of a “national trend in which local government, business, and civil society leaders embrace research showing that being inclusive toward immigrants helps cities and counties thrive economically,” states PNAE.
Behind the scenes corporate honchos are leading the open borders charge to ensure that a steady supply of cheap labor in the form of immigrants and refugees are distributed to your towns and cities in order to essentially replace you and take your jobs as the co-chairs of PNAE are none other than Michael Bloomberg, Disney’s Bob Iger, Rupert Murdoch of Fox, and Jim McNerney of Boeing. Moreover, PNAE has partnered with the organization Welcoming America which labels itself as a “non-profit immigrant advocacy group” that received its first funding in 2007 from the George Soros-financed Four Freedoms Foundation. The open borders agenda goes even further as PNAE and Welcoming America has teamed up with over 500 mayors throughout the nation as well as government individuals including Larry Bartlett, Director of the State Departments Refugee Admissions Office and Julian Castro, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
The action portion of this astroturf campaign is to co-opt local mayors and city councils by providing them with doctored studies and flawed data that suggests refugees and illegal immigrants will bring economic prosperity. The method in which this is being done is through a propaganda campaign aimed at the twenty different communities selected for the Gateways for Growth award. For example, the astroturf website ThinkProgress, which is funded by the non-profit organization the Center for American Progress, has already begun producing various articles linking to reports highlighting studies that propagate the “positive economic impact” talking points of resettling refugees. Specifically, in an article written on April, 7, 2016, ThinkProgress highlights the positive “correlation between a growing economy and an influx of refugees” by citing a study that proclaims “if Germany let in 1 million refugees over three years, the growth of its labor force would increase its GDP.” By completely neglecting the cultural impact these refugees have had on Germany as well as the security risks associated with bringing in this many refugees, ThinkProgress whitewashes the reality and promotes the false notion that a massive influx in immigration has no negative effects.
The end result of this current immigration astroturf campaign is to not only push the open borders agenda but to make you, the average American citizen, an outlier for not wanting your city or your town flooded with immigrants and refugees. Once you begin to see the articles flowing from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and various other quasi-news organizations you’ll know that the astroturf campaign is in full swing. Search for the truth yourself on issues such as immigration and don’t allow the media to shape your opinion. Yes, you will be smeared for your concerns. Yes you will be labeled a racist for your opinion. Yes, you will be marginalized for speaking out against the erosion of your sovereignty. But what you want be is an outlier because your opinion is supported by a majority in this nation that is to fearful to speak out for themselves. Remember that nothing is as it seems and when you see multiple levels of coordination within various levels of the news media pushing the same narrative, the same talking points, and the same agenda, know that it is an artificial issue being made to look as if it is real.