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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Glasstroturfing (Or, the Newest Chihuly-Related Art)

Posted by on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Now with glass!
  • Now with glass!
In politics, the term of art for what Cienna witnessed last night at the Seattle Center, and what Dominic noticed today on Facebook, is astroturfing.

That is, the phony creation of a sense of grassroots momentum behind a project, plan, or idea that actually doesn't have sufficient grassroots momentum.

Political types know: If you don't have real grass roots, but you do have money, well, you just go out and buy yourself some astroturf.

Or, in this case, glasstroturf.

Then you describe that glasstroturf as grassroots, make sure everyone quietly gets whatever price is required for his or her "honest opinion," and pray for articles like this one in today's Seattle Times, which you can then wave around as proof of real support for your agenda.

Granted, last night's meeting was a late one (meaning a tight deadline for any daily reporter), and granted, not everyone sees the same things at any given moment.

But if the "overwhelming support" for the Chihuly museum that the Times witnessed last night was, in fact, mostly bought and paid for by PR firms and people with vested financial interests in the project, then the paper owes its readers a follow-up story (something more than just the line in today's piece noting that "several" of the pro-Chihuly-museum speakers "were connected to the project").


Comments (8) RSS

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Righteous. The Chihuliacs put up a website when you can one-click email their chosen message to every council member. Barf.

(And it's heartening to have Slog finally back in form banging a drum not handed y'all by the mayor. Seems like old times.)
Posted by gloomy gus on March 31, 2010 at 2:15 PM · Report this
leek 2
Hey now, don't pass up the opportunity to use "glassroots"!
Posted by leek on March 31, 2010 at 2:20 PM · Report this
Fnarf 3
@1, or you could use that same one-click to send them a different message. The text is editable.
Posted by Fnarf on March 31, 2010 at 2:29 PM · Report this
merry 4
I hate the fuckin Times. Fuck that fuckin birdcage-liner, anyhow.
Posted by merry on March 31, 2010 at 2:35 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 5
You know, there are almost 150 people in the FB group opposed to this, and none of them had free meals and drinks "given" them by the Space Needle.
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 31, 2010 at 2:42 PM · Report this
Bless you, Fnarf. I missed that. I just used it to send a lovely message disparaging the Chihuly product and the PR scam tax dodge as well.
Posted by gloomy gus on March 31, 2010 at 2:50 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
@6 there's a later SLOG post that does that.
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 31, 2010 at 3:34 PM · Report this
Geni 8
Ah, Chihuly. The Thomas Kinkade of Seattle, with the same glassy-eyed (pun intended) legions of sycophants.

I'm just waiting for someone to ask if we can't just all get along and suggest the term glassnost.
Posted by Geni on March 31, 2010 at 5:09 PM · Report this

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