Sharyl Attkisson: Top 10 Astroturfers

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I don’t totally agree with everything Ms. Attkisson says here, but I almost totally do. I liked that in the “honorable mention” section she listed; “Republicans making us believe Jeb Bush is strongly favored as the next Republican candidate for president.” That one made me laugh.


The language of astroturfers and propagandists include trademark inflammatory terms such as: anti, nutty, quack, crank, pseudo-science, debunking, conspiracy theory, deniers and junk science. Sometimes astroturfers claim to “debunk myths” that aren’t myths at all. They declare debates over that aren’t over. They claim that “everybody agrees” when everyone doesn’t agree. They aim to make you think you’re an outlier when you’re not.

Astroturfers and propagandists tend to attack and controversialize the news organizations, personalities and people surrounding an issue rather than sticking to the facts. They try to censor and silence topics and speakers rather than engage them. And most of all, they reserve all their expressed skepticism for those who expose wrongdoing rather than the wrongdoers. In other words, instead of questioning authority, they question those who question authority.

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