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Covert White House propaganda for Senate immigration amnesty bill?

The previously mentioned NYT article about the backlash against the Bush/Senate amnesty bill contains a very interesting paragraph which, naturally, the NYT didn't follow up on:

White House officials said [the backlash] had led them to engage the blogosphere in a concerted way for the first time, posting defenses on liberal and conservative sites.

One would think that if White House representatives had been engaging the blogosphere, I would have heard about it. I know that Hugh Hewitt interviewed Tony Snow, and I make a habit of never visiting RedState, but that's the only two possibilities I can think of. And, one would think that if they had outreached to "liberal" sites they would have posted about that; I doubt whether DailyKos has been allowing Karl Rove to post a diary there under his own name.

Note also that the White House has been "posting defenses", which might imply that they've been posting comments. Did they identify themselves as being with the Bush administration?

Or, did they (just as an example!) get a cheap-o dial-up account or use a proxy to disguise where their comments were coming from? That's certainly something worth looking into, especially if any laws were broken by doing so.

I note also the furious nature with which the David Leonhardt smear of Lou Dobbs spread around the internet (partial list of sites discussing it here). Call me paranoid, but to me it seemed a bit like a coordinated attack. I note also that according to technorati, the first major sites linking to it, in addition to mediabistro.com and the usual smear merchants like ThinkProgress and puffballs like andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com, were academics: poliblogger.com, brendan-nyhan.com, marginalrevolution.com, and economistsview.typepad.com, with the last three being open borders, "free" trade "economists". I note also that economist.com followed up with their own smear, as did the Columbia Journalism Review. There are also at least five dupe links to the same NYT article at digg.com, a fairly large number.

Obviously, this is all just speculation, but if the White House has been spreading propaganda on the federal government's dime, then perhaps someone should look into it. Especially if it's been covert.

UPDATE: Someone like Les Kinsolving should ask Tony Snow for a full list - including URLs - of the defenses they've posted. An enterprising citizen journalist could even file an FOIA request looking for a list of websites visited by White House staff filtered by blogs and forums and any information on dial-up accounts or proxies used.

UPDATE 2: Based on comments, we've got The Corner as another possibility and there are apparently White House posts at RedState (as if you could tell the difference). But, where are the liberal sites the NYT mentioned above?

Immigration2007a · Sat, 06/02/2007 - 12:55 · Importance: 4

Sun, 06/03/2007 - 13:23
llamajockey

Waldo, You are right both party's Elites are scared shitless of their base over OPEN BORDERS issues. I have gotten it a number of fights at several liberal blogs namely Hullabaloo, Orcinus and Matt Yglesias's sight in the last couple of months over the growing popularity of Lou Dobbs with the party's base. Nothing like being called a Racist by some college kid in a dormitory still living on his parent's dime, or worse a paid shill for DLC wing party think tank, a corporate Open Borders lobby, an ANSWER mushhead or an Immigration Lawyer. Unlike lots of bloggers I have actually done thousands of hours of GOTV work the last eight years out here in the Midwest. Plus I have been a popular liberal blog commentator for years so I fucking take no prisoners on this bullshit. Let me say Dave Niewert over at Orcinus is completely delusional over the relative threats posed by the KKK and a few bands of Skinhead losers in Idaho vs Aztlan and MS-13. Niewert has actually been publishing SPLC Open Borders agenda propaganda for years. However now many of Niewert's readers are starting to see things are not as Black and White as he paints them. I delivered enough asskickings over at Hullabaloo that most of the regulars have learned to respect where I am coming from. Lots of commentators from the areas effected by Open Boarders issues will now speak up in support of Dobbs and myself. Now it is true what they say about Midwesterners. They tend to be overly polite. So when a long time Democratic or Independent voter in a predominantly Democratic district gets into your face over your party's betrayal of working Americans through "FREE TRADE" and OPEN BORDERS they really mean it and most of their family and neighbors feel the same way. And if two out of ten are giving you a unsolicited opinion the actual number sharing the same viewpoint is more like 6 or 7 out of ten. Like I have been trying to say to my fellow Democrats, the Republican party base is years ahead of the Democratic base in trying to reform their party concerning the massive corruption that has been brought about through years of tolerance of Open Borders. I have been warning Democrats who are certain they can not lose after eight years watching their country suffer under Bush to expect to get their ass kicked if the Republican nominate a true Immigration Restrictioninist and Secure Our Borders candidate. The fight against Open Borders, Illegal Alien exploitation, Global Labor Arbitrage and for a sane Secure Border and a sustainable level of Restricted Immigration is being being fought and won on a grassroots level completely outside both political parties through groups like NumbersUSA.

Sat, 06/02/2007 - 22:25
Jake Jacobsen
www.freedomfolks.com

I know they've been sending rebuttals to "The Corner." Perhaps that's it?

Sun, 06/03/2007 - 02:02
mary

I think El Presidente put Linda Chavez up to her racist rant against those who oppose the sell-out bill! And now she has written a Fear and Loathing part II listing comments of insult she has received.....really pathetic last ditch attempt to play the race card and shove this bill through.

Sun, 06/03/2007 - 09:26
D Flinchum

I figured that LC was on a hit mission. The BIG idea here is that they want to make the average person beieve that if they are against this amnesty then they are bigots and out of touch with 90% of the country when, in fact, the VAST majority of people oppose it. It was great to see Charles Krauthammer expose those fake polls that attempt to make it appear that amnesty has popular support. (See below). http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/31/AR2007053101849.html?sub=AR

Sun, 06/03/2007 - 11:49
Waldo

I was banned from freerepublic over a year ago for consistently (and sanely, without any "blathering" or "mouth foaming") speaking out against illegal immigration, AND for making it clear that I was (1.) a Conservative and (2.) a registered voter as a Republican. I also made it very clear -- nearly two years ago -- on that site prior to being banned that this issue was the one that would ruin any credible legacy for Bush (and look, I was right). A few strange account names came out of nowhere on that site and accused me of outrageously false things and then I was banned (haven't seen those user I.D.s active in any other context since, so apparently they are "smiting"/bogus accounts used to antagonize their targets). I also had the sense before being banned to capture more than a few IPAs and examine my website stats (I've never tried to be covert and consider it reasonably possible for any intelligent person to understand who I am, so that's not an issue for me as to fictional User I.D. used but it IS an issue for people who seek to harm others for differences of opinions, I have found), anyway, I did capture more than a few IPAs that correlated to the RNC in that incident (long story, will save the rest here but there's no mistaken that the Party was involved in seeking out and "eliminating" counter opinions on that site and due to my anti-illegal alien stance, I was targeted). I've now seen an overwhelming turn around on that site and many others among Conservatives and among Republicans about this very issue, and thus, that particular site can't possibly ban their entire user base (they've tried, I've seen it) for having opinions that don't support Bush and Rove's and Martinez's, et al. It's tough to realize that BOTH parties use these deplorable tactics of trolling to target those with opinions that they don't like. But, in my experience, both parties do. I held out hopes for the Republican Party for a lot longer, though, than the Democrats. I was wrong to have thought so highly of the former for as long as I did, based upon what I see and hear today now come to fruition: The RNC campaigning for Hillary.

Sun, 06/03/2007 - 14:31
D Flinchum

You are exactly right llamajockey. I worked for many years in organized labor. The AFL-CIO has somewhat tempered its enthusiasm for this amnesty bill (though unfortunately not because of the amnesty aspects) and in my boucing around blog-world I see numerous postings by average union members - often listing their local numbers - lamenting what massive immigration, especially illegal immigration, has done to their and their children's job prospects. It is going to be hard to convince these folks to vote Democratic if they see the Democrats as the culprits in this shamnesty. As hard as it is to believe, construction wages actually declined while the building boom was going on.

Sun, 06/03/2007 - 15:30
AnonymousDrivel

Linda Chavez has "absolute moral authority" on all things Hispanic, don't you know? That's why the administration trotted her out to charge antagonists to open borders and amnesty as racists and bigots. Who is anyone to question her opinion on massive, uncontrolled legal and illegal immigration because of her heritage? Nice try by Chavez, but she admitted to Laura Ingraham when Ingraham challenged her racist screed that Chavez was more American than most anyone due to her lengthy and current North American heritage and not her distant Hispanic one. Not that it should matter when we must decide on merit as opposed to emotion, but Chavez pretty much loses the race card she wants to play for the President as she promotes perpetual illegal immigration by another name. She is no more Hispanic than I am and I speak better Spanish, so _I_ trump _her_.

Sun, 06/03/2007 - 15:35
llamajockey

D Flinchum, Seriously when I get that "jobs Americans won't do" horseshit excuse for tolerating exploitive Illegal Residency and Open Borders, I challenge the nit-wit saying to go knock on some doors in a mixed class, ethnic and racial neighbor and go peddle that not terribly subtle racist nonsense. Look I have tried to sell the Democratic party agenda to White Ethnics, Africa-Americans and even Latino-Americans. I have had to politely listen while folks righteously pinned my ears back over "FREE TRADE" and OPEN BORDERS related issues. It is no fun. I have seen less strong willed would Democrats break down in tears. Sure is a hell of a lot easier posting comments on blogs especially when you do not have a F'ing clue what your are talking about. Now you tell me who is being racist.

Sun, 06/03/2007 - 17:02
jackbenimble

The Whitehouse has started a couple of blogs over at RedState. They are not covert. They are pretty much being shredded while a few of the Bush koolaide drinkers try to tell everybody else to be respectful. After being called bigots last week and unpatriotic this week, I don't think even the RedState crowd is feeling very respectful.

Sun, 06/03/2007 - 20:06
Fred Dawes
www.MySpace.com/FREDDAWES1776

The Government is doing a hit job on all of us who do not want to live inside Mexico. THE FACT IS TONY SNOW May as well be a mexico city propaganda guy with his evil massage right from Mexico City Is I think over-looked by most Americans. In fact most Americans will not look at facts and appear to be on the side of total madness. The corruption of Mexico city is now part of the ideals of this so called government and it will be up to you someday to take action against a totally evil system but most will not and just go-long to get along just like good little third world people. The Government is working against you in all areas of life and that someday will be your end, and may God help you all.

Sun, 06/03/2007 - 23:43
D Flinchum

"Sure is a hell of a lot easier posting comments on blogs especially when you do not have a F'ing clue what your are talking about." And when you can retreat into your very own gated community with your kids in private school, and not have to worry about what your half-@$$ed views are doing to the US!

Mon, 06/04/2007 - 02:32
mary

I have been ridiculed for espousing my belief on Bush's push for The North American Union...Well, someone tell me what other explanation is there for a tsunami of Mexicans being allowed to overrun the country? If you ask me anyone who doesn't see what this tyrant is doing cannot add two and two. I was banned from one site for wishing bad things to the traitor....Now when I read that blog it's as though dawn has lit on marble head!!! They act like it's a revelation...HELLO! Everything he has done the last two years has pointed to allowing this invasion and encouraging it from the lack of border security to lack of enforcing laws in the entire country. The jailing of border agents was the absolute last straw and the final proof that BUSH is a TRAITOR of the highest magnitude. I have been trying to warn people about this for over two years and no one would listen. At last even mainstream columnists are geting the message...BUT is it too late??!! (The only other explanation is that Bushs' family is being held for ransom....anyone seen Laura around lately????)

Mon, 06/04/2007 - 02:33
mary

By the way ...why is almost every hispanic American with a Z in their name all for MexiAmerica!!! Is that why they call it a Z visa???

Mon, 06/04/2007 - 04:00
Fred Dawes
www.myspace:com/freddawes1776

Thank you mary