The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to fill Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court set off a firestorm of liberal opposition before his name had even been announced. Democrats are already busy fundraising off the nomination and encouraging their supporters to get out there and oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation with all their might. This has resulted in the progressive rank and file breaking out their pens and sending letters to the editors of newspapers around the country.
Many of the letters carry similar messages, stating the reasons the authors feel that Kavanaugh’s appointment will represent a grave danger to the country. In fact, they’re more than just “similar.” As the Daily Mail reported this weekend, nearly two dozen of these letters, purportedly all coming from different concerned citizens, were identical down to each word and punctuation mark. The discovery led several papers to retract the letters as obvious astroturf.
At least 21 papers were duped last week, including big-market brands like the Dallas Morning News and The Washington Times. They ran identical letters over a four-day period, each signed by a different person.
The effort is an example of public-relations ‘astroturfing,’ a technique meant to simulate genuine grassroots support for an idea or cause.
The form letter is one small piece of the message minefield erupting around Kavanaugh as he prepares for a brutal confirmation process that will end with scant support from Democrats.
Here’s the letter, just in case you see the same one in your local paper and want to let us know.
After being informed of what had happened, several papers took action. The Dallas Morning News deleted the letter from their website, issuing a correction noting that multiple copies had appeared around the country under different names. Another, the Union Democrat of Sonora, California, did the same, explaining why in their correction as well. The Wilmington News Journal – the largest paper in Delaware – was also tricked into running the letter but apparently hasn’t retracted it.
The Daily Mail asked several Democratic groups including DemandJustice, MoveOn and Protect our Care if they were behind this scam. All denied it so, for now, the origin remains a mystery. But the work is already done and the fake messages were distributed successfully. That should leave voters wondering precisely how much of all this “outrage” is genuine and how much is being mass produced in some office of liberal activists.