Video: Michelle on astroturfing and the alleged Obama sockpuppet ad

There’s only one news network that’s going to touch this story, so here’s the first (and probably last) touch. We neglected to link Ethan Winner’s statement the other day admitting responsibility for the video and denying any connection to the Obama campaign, so scroll down to the end of Rusty’s post and read it there now. The boss is right about Axelrod having done business with the Winner firm in the past — the distant past, as in 12 years ago. Would he really call on them again now? He might if he knew what big fans they are of Barack Obama.

I have two mutually contradictory questions: (1) If it’s all part of a furtive faux-grassroots astroturf campaign designed to scrub Winner’s (and, by extension, Axelrod’s) fingerprints from the ad, what was this moron doing uploading it to a YouTube account named “eswinner”? And (2) If it’s not all part of a furtive faux-grassroots astroturf campaign, why wouldn’t Winner avail himself of the professional PR apparatus at his fingerprints to circulate the spot? He’s obviously untroubled by the fact that the clip smears Palin or else he wouldn’t be standing by it now. Why the whispers-and-sockpuppets approach when he could have blasted out press releases and e-mailed the clip to people like Marc Ambinder, Jake Tapper, and Politico to inject it into the media’s bloodstream?

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