September 21, 2009

Astroturfing the NEA: Winner & Associates in on the Scheme? (UPDATED)

Color me unsurprised to find out that an employee of Winner and Associates -- who you'll recall we revealed were behind the astroturfing campaign to discredit Sarah Palin -- was in on the National Endowment for the Arts phone call outlining how the Obama Administration would use that government organization to push its agenda.

From a list of those participating in the conference call:

ayandele_bim_winner_associates_NEA.jpg

After we uncovered the link between Winner and Associates, David Axelrod, and the smear campaign against Sarah Palin designed to look as though it was coming from the "grass roots" we begged -- literally begged! -- the MSM to look into whether the large campaign consulting firm was subcontracted by David Axelrod for work on the Obama campaign. As I noted at the time, I'm just a blogger and don't really have the resources necessary to conduct a thorough investigation.

As Ace notes here, once Ethan Winner confessed that he was behind the video, the MSM concluded that there was nothing more to investigate. This despite the fact that I showed that at least two other Winner and Associate employees -- a subdivision of the largest advertising agency in the world -- participated in the astroturfing campaign during normal business hours.

Three employees, one of them the President of the subdivision and another a VP, claimed they were doing this on their own time -- which we showed could not have been the case -- and on their own dime. On their own dime? Maybe, but it still seems unlikely.

And now we have another Winner and Associates guy at the NEA conference call? He's also listed as one of the founders of Generation Obama.

Are you going to now tell me that his relationship with Generation Obama is purely on a volunteer basis? And that his involvement with what appears to be a move to make the NEA push Obama's agenda is being done pro-bono?

Winner and Associates: the largest PR firm in California, but all their major work is done for free!

Something. Doesn't. Add. Up.

More over at Ace's.

UPDATE
:

Bim_obama.jpg

Smoking Gun?

We found out, when earlier this year, one of our Senior Associates, Bim Ayandele, was asked by the Obama Administration to help with the launch of the White House's Office of Public Engagement (OPE).
And who runs the White House Office of Public Engagement? Buffy Wicks, who set up the NEA phone call.

Thanks to Stable Hand.

UPDATE 9/22/2009: It looks like Bim Ayandele uses twitter. His tweets after the August 10th NEA conference seem to suggest that he's involved in an orchestrated astroturfing campaign.

Follow the link and take a close look at the time stamps. He's pushing Health Care and anti-Tea Party propaganda on company time during normal business hours.

Also not that none of his tweets prior to the conference call were political in nature. After the conference call nearly all of them are. Yet we are to believe that a paid political consultant with a firm that specializes in damage control and grassroots organizations just happened to be in on a non-partisan call for artists?

Artists who, after the call, "spontaneously" begin to support Obama's health care plans?

Give. Me. A. Break.

This has all the signs of astroturfing. Will post updates at link above.

PS-- Here's the original Ethan Winner produced video mashed with an official David Axelrod/Obama produced video.

UPDATE NEWBIE:Its the Cover-up

Update by Howie:

Hmmm right after I started following Bim's twitter feed. He took down his icon.

bigsathug1small.JPG
click for larger

Odie must have frightened him. He is kinda scary in a harmless comic book kind of way. I mean not as scary as Bim's thug icon but pretty scary.

Oh and Bim, its called the Google cache.

Update II: Awww, you put it back, there you go Bim......if you're going to be a thug, be a proud thug.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:47 PM | Comments |