Wow. My Pet Jawa lays out evidence that a public relations firm working for the Obama campaign created and spread, through “astroturfing”—professionally produced YouTube videos and comment sockpuppetry—smears against Sarah Palin. Suddenly, the accounts have disappeared, and someone is trying to hide tracks. There’s strong evidence here, not only of dirty tricks, but of violation of campaign laws.
Here’s the summary. But take the time to read the entire report. It’s essential to understanding the current campaign and, more generally, the current state of our politics.
Extensive research was conducted by the Jawa Report to determine the source of smears directed toward Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Those smears included false allegations that she belonged to a secessionist political party and that she has radical anti-American views.
Our research suggests that a subdivision of one of the largest public relations firms in the world most likely started and promulgated rumors about Sarah Palin that were known to be false. These rumors were spread in a surreptitious manner to avoid exposure.
It is also likely that the PR firm was paid by outside sources to run the smear campaign. While not conclusive, evidence suggests a link to the Barack Obama campaign. Namely:
- Evidence suggests that a YouTube video with false claims about Palin was uploaded and promoted by members of a professional PR firm.
- The family that runs the PR firm has extensive ties to the Democratic Party, the netroots, and are staunch Obama supporters.
- Evidence suggests that the firm engaged in a concerted effort to distribute the video in such a way that it would appear to have gone viral on its own. Yet this effort took place on company time.
- Evidence suggests that these distribution efforts included actions by at least one employee of the firm who is unconnected with the family running the company.
- The voice-over artist used in this supposedly amateur video is a professional.
- This same voice-over artist has worked extensively with David Axelrod’s firm, which has a history of engaging in phony grassroots efforts, otherwise known as “astroturfing.”
- David Axelrod is Barack Obama’s chief media strategist.
- The same voice-over artist has worked directly for the Barack Obama campaign.
This suggests that false rumors and outright lies about Sarah Palin and John McCain being spread on the internet are being orchestrated by political partisans and are not an organic grassroots phenomenon led by the left wing fringe.