Friday, February 25, 2011

The Joy of Astroturf

If you're not familiar with the term, "astroturf" is a pejorative description of a fake grassroots movement that's meant to look spontaneous & local, but is organized and stage-managed by outsiders.

Take, for instance, this protest in Denver.

It's just creepy to me how neat those "hand-lettered" signs are. As if the same person did all of them.

Plus the fact that, in the 4th picture, they're just piled there for people to pick up. If you don't care enough to make your own sign, why are you there? And why are you holding one?

Plus, of course, all those professionally designed and printed signs. That stuff ain't cheap. Who paid for those?

If you scroll WAY down, you see the sloppy yet sincere signs of the Tea Party counter-protest. These folks OBVIOUSLY made their own signs.

Now, I've got nothing against well-organized and well-funded protests. It's all free speech, and it's all good.

But, from an "effective propaganda" perspective, if your message - union protesters - is that you're poverty-stricken just-plain-folk who can't afford a pay cut, maybe consider that slick, mass-produced signage kinda calls you a liar to the casual observer.


  1. Maybe it's because if they let them produce their own signs they end up with stuff about gang banging tea party members. Not exactly a message designed to get the public on your side.

  2. I clicked the link. Wow. Classy :-/