Efforts to disguise co-ordinated campaigns by interested groups as apparently spontaneous public reactions are called astroturfing, after the artificial turf used on sports pitches, not to be confused with genuine grassroots. The anti-Obama, anti-National Health Service rhetoric is a case in point. It is diverting attention from what healthcare insurers do not want people to know: medical bills cause more bankruptcies in the USA than any other cause.
Hard on the heels of the healthcare astroturfing we can apparently expect for the rest of this month a series of so-called “Energy Citizen” rallies across 20 States of the USA, to which employees of oil companies and other rentacrowds will be bussed at the expense of the American Petroleum Institute with the aim of influencing US Senators to oppose the climate bill and the Obama administration’s tax increases on the oil industry.
At the rallies, the API participants will push two messages: job losses and energy cost increases. Participants will apparently be given extended lunch hours for this purpose and supplied with free refreshments in the form of junk food and drink.
In a leaked email that I have downloaded, the API has told member companies: “your facility manager’s commitment to provide significant attendance—is essential to achieving the participation level that Senators cannot ignore.”
As I said, consider the source.
Got your pinch of salt ready, everyone?