Widely respected (and sometimes feared) investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson has just unveiled her list of “top ten astroturfers as viewed by respondents in an informal, non-scientific survey.”
It won’t come as a surprise to most Bearing Arms readers who came in first:
Astroturfers and propagandists tend to attack and controversialize the news organizations, personalities and people surrounding an issue rather than sticking to the facts. They try to censor and silence topics and speakers rather than engage them. And most of all, they reserve all their expressed skepticism for those who expose wrongdoing rather than the wrongdoers. In other words, instead of questioning authority, they question those who question authority.
Much of this sounds familiar to many Americans. The results of an informal, non-scientific poll identify groups related to Gun Safety Action Fund, Inc. as top Astroturf efforts. These groups include Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Everytown, Everytown for Gun Safety, Gun Sense, It’s Time for Gun Sense in America, Gun Sense Voter, I’m a Gun Sense Voter, Moms Take the Hill and Stroller Jam.
The groups present themselves as grassroots organizations of “mayors, moms survivors and everyday Americans.” They are spearheaded by former New York Mayor and multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg, and former PR professional and mother Shannon Watts. Last year, they announced a $50 million political campaign to try to counter the efforts of the formidable gun rights lobby.
This is hardly surprising. Moms Demand Action and Everytown are primarily social media campaigns, with very limited real-world support.
The largest turnout the combined groups have managed is just 156 people, which included the media, Shannon Watts’ bodyguards, and paid staff. I know, because I was there.
As sad as the Moms Demand/Everytown attendance was at their national rally, their state and local protests are even more sparse.
Local and state protests typically consist of Moms Demand staff, their spouses, and their children, and even then rarely exceed a dozen people. Some protests being as small as a quartet.
Unfortunately, while Moms Demand/Everytown can’t turn out votes, Michael Bloomberg owns his own media empire, and uses his wealth and influence to ensure that his radical dreams of invasive government control and limited personal liberty are projected, even if they aren’t well-respected.