Matt Stoller over at MyDD does a nice job of tying the hacktacular "Union Facts" website back to astroturf warrior Rick Berman. Berman is the guy behind "consumer-supported efforts" like the campaign to convince pregnant moms to eat tuna (on behalf of the tuna industry), the push to keep Pepsi machines and pork rind dispensers in school cafeterias (on behalf of the junk food producers), and the fight against Mothers Against Drunk Driving (on behalf of the booze lobby). In short, he creates allegedly consumer-driven front groups for some of the most unpopular lobbies in America. Which got me thinking -- what astroturf groups would Berman have created had he only been lucky enough to live in various eras in history?
Some ideas below the fold:
If Berman had been alive in a border state like Kentucky in 1860, and if the internet had existed at that time, he'd have been the proprietor of AbolitionistFacts.com (ostensibly funded by "concerned free white citizens, Irishmen, and Negro slaves", but in actuality secretly funded by the Consolidated Slavers League).
If Berman had lived in South Africa in the '70's, and the internet had existed, he'd have run the MandelaExposed.com site (ostensibly funded by "concerned citizens, Cape coloureds, Indians, cricketers, springboks, and blacks", but in actuality secretly funded by a coalition of DeBeers and the National Party).
If Berman had lived in 1940's India, he'd have founded a broadsheet called "Congress Watch," dedicated to exposing the scat-fetishism of the diaper-wearing Gandhi.