The Astroturf Behind Santelli


Interested in how the uninformed spewing of one relatively obscure CNBC anchor became a nationwide cause célèbre? It turns out it had a little something to do with astroturf organizing funded by rightwing foundations: “At stake isn’t the little guy’s fight against big government, as Santelli and his bot-supporters claim, but rather the ‘upper 2 percent’s war to protect their wealth from the Obama Adminstration’s economic plans. When this Santelli ‘grassroots’ campaign is peeled open, what’s revealed is a glimpse of what is ahead and what is bound to be a hallmark of his presidency.”

As I’ve been saying, one thing that makes it difficult to break the top two percent’s grip on things is their total control of the media. A typical Sunday chat show will consist of a host who belongs to the top two percent reporting to a network executive who belongs to the top two percent, who reports to a conglomerate executive who belongs to the top two percent. Their livelihoods will depend on attracting advertising dollars that are controlled by other top two percenters, and if the host brings some pundits on to discuss things they’ll be from the top two percent. Thus do the delicate sensibilities of the two percent or so of households earning more than $250,000 a year wind up getting equal weight—or more!—to those of the overwhelming majority of households that earn less than $100,000 a year.

Under the circumstances, it’s vital to find pathways of communications that aren’t so utterly dominated by the small minority of Americans located in the top two tax brackets.


Playboy seems to have taken down the blog post I was linking to here. Not sure why, but if it’s because of some error then obviously that’s a problem for the post I wrote.

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