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Why Did It Take Two Weeks To Discover Parkland Studentsí Astroturfing?
The Federalist ^ | MARCH 1, 2018 | David Hines

Posted on 03/01/2018 2:44:57 PM PST by Mount Athos

“Can you believe these kids?” It’s been a recurring theme of the coverage of the Parkland school shooting: the remarkable effectiveness of the high school students who created a gun control organization in the wake of the massacre. In seemingly no time, the magical kids had organized events ranging from a national march to a mass school walkout, and they’d brought in a million dollars in donations from Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney.

The Miami Herald credited their success to the school’s stellar debate program. The Wall Street Journal said it was because they were born online, and organizing was instinctive.

On February 28, BuzzFeed came out with the actual story: Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz aiding in the lobbying in Tallahassee, a teacher’s union organizing the buses that got the kids there, Michael Bloomberg’s groups and the Women’s March working on the upcoming March For Our Lives, doing social media promotion and (potentially) march logistics, and training for student activists provided by federally funded Planned Parenthood.

The president of the American Federation of Teachers told BuzzFeed they’re also behind the national school walkout, which journalists had previously assured the public was the sole work of a teenager. (I’d thought teachers were supposed to get kids into school, but maybe that’s just me.)

In other words, the response was professionalized. That’s not surprising, because this is what organization that gets results actually looks like. It’s not a bunch of magical kids in somebody’s living room. Nor is it surprising that the professionalization happened right off the bat. Broward County’s teacher’s union is militant, and Rep. Ted Lieu stated on Twitter that his family knows Parkland student activist David Hogg’s family, so there were plenty of opportunities for grown-ups with resources and skills to connect the kids.

That’s before you get to whether any of them had been involved in the Women’s March. According to BuzzFeed, Wassermann Schultz was running on day two.

What’s striking about all this isn’t the organization. If you start reading books about organizing, it’s clear how it all works. But no journalist covering the story wrote about this stuff for two weeks. Instead, every story was about the Parkland kids being magically effective.

On Twitter, I lost track of the number of bluechecks rhapsodizing over how effective the kids’ organizational instincts were. But organizing isn’t instinctive. It’s skilled work; you have to learn how to do it, and it takes really a lot of people. You don’t just get a few magical kids who’re amazing and naturally good at it.

The real tip-off should have been the $500,000 donations from Winfrey and Clooney. Big celebrities don’t give huge money to strangers on a whim. Somebody who knows Winfrey and Clooney called them and asked. But the press’s response was to be ever more impressed with the kids.

For two weeks, journalists abjectly failed in their jobs, which is to tell the public what’s going on. And any of them who had any familiarity with organizing campaigns absolutely knew. Matt Pearce, of the Los Angeles Times, would have been ideally placed to write an excellent article: not only is he an organizer for the Times’s union, he moderated a panel on leftist activism for the LA Times Book Festival and has the appropriate connections in organizing. Instead, he wrote about a school walkout, not what was behind it. (In another article, Pearce defined Delta caving to a pressure campaign’s demands as “finding middle ground.”)

But it’s not just a mainstream media problem. None of the righty outlets writing about Parkland picked up on the clear evidence that professional organizers were backing the Parkland kids, either. Instead, they objected to the front-and-centering of minor kids as unseemly, which does no good: Lefties aren’t going to listen, and it doesn’t educate the Right to counter.

The closest anyone got was Elizabeth Harrington at the Washington Free Beacon, who noted that Clooney’s publicist was booking the kids’ media interviews pro bono, and said that a friend (not Clooney) had asked him to do it. The result of all this is that the average righty does not understand what’s going on in activism, because all they see is what the press covers. The stuff that’s visible. It’s like expecting people in the Stone Age to grok the Roman army by looking at it. Conspiracy theorists happily fill this ignorance vacuum.

On one hand, sure, the issue with people who believe in crisis actors and various other kinds of conspiracy theories is that they’re susceptible. If they didn’t believe in crisis actors, they’d believe in something else (and they probably do). But on the other hand, I think one reason there’s an opportunity for righty conspiracy types to get all hopped up on goofballs with respect to protests and such is the abject failure of the Righty establishment to explain to its people how protests actually work.

This results in occasional hilarity when the Right tries to organize its own protests. For example, then-Internet celebrity Baked Alaska tried to create pro-Trump flashmobs in Los Angeles during the election. His efforts consisted of posting times and locations online. And that’s it. You see this attitude often among Righties: “We have the Internet! We’ll post a notice and people will show up!” Well, no; they won’t.

It’s not that Baked Alaska needed a magical kid, because there are no magical kids. There’s just hard work, and our press and politicos do everyone a disservice when they pretend otherwise. Here’s an example of how to turn out people, cribbed from “Organizing for Social Change,” the activist manual published by the Midwest Academy, which has been around since 1973 and has trained over 30,000 activists, some of whom went on to found their own training schools.

Say you run an organization that wants to impress a city councilman, and you’ve landed a meeting. You want your group to look bigger than it is. You’ve got 15 dedicated people you know will go, but you want to show the councilman 60 people.

The first thing you do is get 10 people from other groups (you do know other ideologically aligned groups in the area, right?). That leaves 35 people. To get them, you don’t post an ad on Craigslist. You look in your database of people who’ve signed your petitions or whatever. Call and ask them to come.

If they say yes, call them again a day or two in advance to confirm. Of the people who say yes twice, only half will actually show up. So you need 70 people to say yes twice. Expect to make seven times that number of phone calls to get them. That’s 490 five-minute phone calls, which breaks down to five people a night making phone calls for five straight nights.

That’s a little more work than posting an announcement on Facebook. And that’s organizing. It’s not magical kids, and it’s not George Soros sprinkling money around. It’s hard work by people who’ve trained to do it.

Now that the organizations are more open about their involvement, at some point the Parkland kids will go into the background a bit in media exposure, the same way Deray and Linda Sarsour did. That’s part of how organizing fame works these days: Two Minutes’ Heroes, in frequent rotation. But the problem remains: until the press covers organizing campaigns accurately, organizers will be able to punch above their weight politically even if they don’t win every election.

In his excellent book “Hegemony How-To,” leftist organizer Jonathan Smucker wrote, “Power tends to appear magical to those who have less of it, and mechanical to those who are accustomed to wielding it instrumentally.” Or, for that matter, to even seeing it instrumentally.

For two weeks, journalists treated power as if it were magical. It’s not. It’s mechanical. The people organizing the response to Parkland, and a host of other causes, know that. So should you.

TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: antinra; astroturf; astroturfing; banglist; bloomberg; dws; flschoolshooting; guncontrol; hogg; libmyths; march4ourlives; marchforourlives; michaelbloomberg; moveon; moveonorg; parkland; parklandshooting; parklandstudents; schoolshooting; tedlieu; wassermanschultz; womensmarch
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To: BenLurkin

This incident is far worse than just the astro-turfing. This event was enabled and the after math was planned ahead of time. Want proof? ... Why were Cruz’s clothes removed and DISPOSED OF prior to his arrive for booking? No, not removed and put in evidence nags, disposed of. There would be NO COURT discovery, no trial, no digging.

21 posted on 03/01/2018 3:27:27 PM PST by MHGinTN (A dispensational perspective is a powerful tool for discernment)
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To: Mount Athos

I doubt I am alone anymore when I think that I am sick and tired of playing games with these planned shooting events to bring about gun control and confiscation.

Every time there is a ton of proof of lies, crisis actors and all types of manipulation and malfeasance.

Yet here we are. Once again, we all have to pretend whatever the liars that plan this stuff and their corrupt media tell us is acceptable cause “the Kids”.

I don’t accept their lies anymore and this crap is not going to stop until good people become unafraid of the criminal left and their corrupt media.

I am sure they have already planned the next shooting. Probably reeeeaaalll soon. Once they get all the props in place and the crisis actors on the bus then off they go.

Slaughter some more “bumps in the road” to die for the agenda and drag out the clowns like that little p_ick Hogg and that scrawny bald lesbo. Sorry, done with the darn niceties.

22 posted on 03/01/2018 3:30:33 PM PST by dforest (Never let a Muslim cut your hair.)
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To: DJ Taylor
This week the media Congress thinks teenagers should determine gun control laws.
23 posted on 03/01/2018 3:31:37 PM PST by TigersEye (13 Russian Facebook trolls ... and a Siberian partridge in a Russian Olive tree.)
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To: Mount Athos
4Chan pick up the white courtesy phone, and produce massive amounts of dank memes of Florida kids getting rooked by pro activists.

I always thought kids had a disdain for being manipulated.

24 posted on 03/01/2018 3:34:00 PM PST by Salvavida (The Missouri citizen's militia sends its regards.)
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To: Cecily
FReepers knew it was an astroturf operation from Day One


25 posted on 03/01/2018 3:34:39 PM PST by TXSearcher (Interesting times we live in...........)
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To: Mount Athos

This whole thing is as real as Spanky & Darla on “Our Gang” with “Come on, kids. Let’s put on a show in the old barn.”

26 posted on 03/01/2018 3:35:11 PM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: Mount Athos

United states press is no longer a news source all it is in Putin’s propaganda arm in our country.

27 posted on 03/01/2018 3:37:39 PM PST by Retvet (Retvet)
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To: Salvavida

shortly after the shootings, i posted this on FR several times, hoping it would spark further investigation...

18 Feb: NaplesDailyNews: #NeverAgain: ‘This generation ... The next generation will never have to worry about this.’
by Patrick Riley
The students will pack into buses Tuesday and make the nearly 450-mile trek from Parkland to Tallahassee, where they will split up into groups of 10 to talk to 10 state senators and representatives from both parties Wednesday. The journey comes less than a week after a gunman killed 17 people at the school.
“The action has been so quick,” said Corin, 17. “And that’s necessary because this is a fresh and open wound and we can’t let it close up. We need to do something about it before it just disappears like it always has.”...

Corin, who was hiding in a classroom during the shooting, said a family friend connected her with U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose aide helped her start organizing the trip.
A handful of other Democratic politicians, including state Sens. Lauren Book and Kevin Rader and state Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith and Jared Moskowitz, also helped, she said...

28 posted on 03/01/2018 3:44:54 PM PST by MAGAthon
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To: Mount Athos

They did not abjectly fail on this, they did it on purpose.

No one should look at what the media does today as if it was a well-meaning mistake.

They are Marxists/Progressives and all of their actions are by design and according to their agenda.

29 posted on 03/01/2018 3:49:27 PM PST by SoConPubbie (Mitt and Obama: They're the same poison, just a different potency)
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To: RitaOK

Unfortunately, most of us are too busy working for our families, paying taxes, and trying to move this nation to the next level (if that is possible given our circumstances).

I see your point, but responsibility never was a trait of the left.

30 posted on 03/01/2018 3:51:34 PM PST by Roman_War_Criminal (This country & world is living on borrowed time (Luke 17:26-27))
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To: Mount Athos

31 posted on 03/01/2018 3:55:43 PM PST by Chode (You have all of the resources you are going to have. Abandon your illusions and plan accordingly.)
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To: Roman_War_Criminal

Precisely. Cannot be said enough.

32 posted on 03/01/2018 3:56:52 PM PST by dforest (Never let a Muslim cut your hair.)
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To: Chode

Well done!

33 posted on 03/01/2018 4:07:56 PM PST by blondiegoodbadugly
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To: Mount Athos
They have the protests planned, the talking points written, and even the Assault Weapons Bill of 2018 carefully prepared and ready to launch as soon as the school shooting happens.

It would be interesting to investigate the history of their actions, and see how many plans, documents, proposed legislation, etc. the leftists have sitting on the shelf waiting for the tragedy they are hoping for to happen.

34 posted on 03/01/2018 4:16:03 PM PST by freeandfreezing
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To: Cecily


35 posted on 03/01/2018 4:16:12 PM PST by Bigg Red (Francis is a Nincompope.)
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Well, I am older than you are. Even though it would be a hassle, I would still do it if I thought there would be honest coverage.

And, although I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with FReepers and chanting, “Get out of Cheney’s house!” at Al Gore, having the “news” media ignore or twist our activity negates the worth of making the 3-hour trip to DC. Not to mention the increased possibility of getting my old head bashed in by AntiFaggots.

(Remembering those times, reminds me of how taken in we were by the globalist Bush. &%*#!)

36 posted on 03/01/2018 4:29:38 PM PST by Bigg Red (Francis is a Nincompope.)
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To: Mount Athos
Why Did It Take Two Weeks To Discover Parkland Students’ Astroturfing?...because so much of the public, including much of the national press and political establishment, are so unsophisticated - or maybe ignorant is a better word - about what's up in today's culture - also shocking is the fact that so many big companies priding themselves on being so up-to-date and modern - like United Airlines and Hertz - aren't smart enough to know that the tsunami of protests they got on their linkage with the NRA came from a bunch of bots - probably ten malcontents with a computer email list blasting out phony outrage that made the companies lose their sanity - and ultimately probably a lot of customers.....
37 posted on 03/01/2018 4:31:33 PM PST by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Mount Athos


38 posted on 03/01/2018 4:56:05 PM PST by hattend
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To: Mount Athos
Why? Because so many sheeple accept fake news and propaganda without questions as does the main stream media.
39 posted on 03/01/2018 5:03:02 PM PST by Robert357 ( Dan Rather was discharged as "medically unfit" on May 11, 1954.)
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To: Hatteras
"So “astroturfing” now means something other than Bill Clinton’s pickup truck bed?"

I still associate it with the Astrodome.

40 posted on 03/01/2018 5:09:47 PM PST by blam
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