Monday, September 22, 2008

Axelrod Caught Astroturfing Smear Video on YouTube

Roy Robison at the National Defense Examiner has the best summary of the Axelrod smear job on Palin unmasked:
A series of videos designed to spread lies about the Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Governor Sarah Palin has been connected to a professional Public Relations firm. Those videos also share production qualities used in pro-Obama videos produced by Obama media campaign strategist David Axelrod.
Axelrod is considered by many to be a master of planting campaign messages on the internet to look like they did not originate from an organized campaign, a practice know as “astroturfing” (because of the fake grass-roots nature of the message). The smear videos have been connected to a professional PR firm, the kind of firm Axelrod would turn to in order to disseminate his message. No direct evidence of such a link has been established but to do so would be very difficult for any outside investigation.
Company employees and family members of Winner & Associates have been connected to the placement of these videos on Youtube. In addition, they have been shown to have sent notice of these videos to the fringe left-wing websites, the Democratic Underground and Daily Kos. Those smear machine websites then urged their readers - hundreds of thousands of them - to spread word about the smear videos.
Bloggers at the website “The Jawa Report” have used their collective investigative talent to expose the smear campaign. Normally, the blog specializes in tracking down and stopping sources of internet-based Islamic extremism, also known as jihadist propaganda. The bloggers recently turned their abilities to finding the source of the Palin smear videos. They present strong evidence linking Winner & Associates to the videos including an email from one of the postings that is assigned to the domain name for the company's website.
The “Jawans” also compared the smear videos to videos known to have been produced by David Axelrod's media company in support of the Obama campaign. The Jawa Report presents strong evidence that the female voice-over used in the smear videos is the same voice used in all of the Obama campaign videos from Axelrod's company. In addition, the investigators who routinely review jihadist videos for clues have determined that the video and production quality of the smear videos was high and likely done by a professional production company, not a “grassroots” effort.
The connections provide a clear, although yet to be fully proven, scenario. Based upon the evidence it appears that Axelrod likely orchestrated the smear campaign providing his media company resources to create the smear videos for the PR firm which launched the viral campaign. It was all meant to look like it came from some where other than the Obama campaign, a prime example of “astroturfing”.

Update: With in minutes of the revelation of this information at The Jawa Report the smear videos were taken down by the poster on Youtube. Anticipating this, the Jawans made a copy and reposted it.

Click on the link to see the pernicious video.

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