Washington, DC— A new website was launched today to highlight the truth behind the so-called “Tax Day Tea Parties.” The new site, $aveTheRich[ www.savetherich.com ], will document efforts by Fox News Network, prominent Republican Officials and conservative millionaires who are attempting to create the false impression of a grassroots movement through a political tactic known as “astroturfing.”
Astroturfing is a coordinated public relations campaign, usually spearheaded by large organizations and consultants. The goal of an astroturf campaign is to disguise the efforts of the political or commercial entity by orchestrating public activity through outreach, marketing and disinformation. These actions are often heavily funded by corporate or political entities that rely on computer databases, phone-banking and hired organizers.
And so far, the tell-tale signs of astroturfing are everywhere in the so-called “Tax Day Tea Party” events:
Large lobbying organizations and their consultants are quietly organizing behind the scenes. The principle organizers of the local events are actually lobbyist-run think tanks Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works and American Solutions for Winning the Futures (ASWF) an organization run by former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich. http://thinkprogress.org/2009/04/09/lobbyists-planning-teaparties/
Fox News is listed as a sponsor of the events and has aggressively promoted the so-called “Tax Day Tea Parties” and encouraged viewers to get involved. According to reports, Fox News provided attendance and organizing information for future protests, such as protest dates, locations and website URLs. Fox News websites have also posted information and publicity material for protests. Fox News hosts have repeatedly encouraged viewers to join them at several April 15 protests that they are attending and covering. Tea-party organizers have used the planned attendance of the Fox News hosts to promote their protests. http://mediamatters.org/items/200904080025?f=h_top
At the events which have been held in advance of April 15th , protesters appear to be confused about why they are protesting. Despite claims from Fox News and other organizers that the protests are against high taxes and wasteful government spending, many of the participants are calling for the impeachment of President Obama and raising questions about his place of birth. Other protesters appear to be from myriad far-right causes such as gun rights, secessionists, immigration and neo-Nazi groups
Elected officials are driving turn out and, as in the case of Sen. David Vitter even sponsoring a bill to honor the protests. At least 12 Republican members of Congress, and a handful of Governors, will be featured prominently at the so-called “Tax Day Tea Parties.” In one particular instance, Congressman Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) is actually seen on video holding a conference call instructing Tea Party participants on talking points and messaging. http://thinkprogress.org/2009/04/08/gopestablishment-joins-teaparties/
$aveTheRich is dedicated to documenting efforts by Fox News Network, their media personalities and a handful of conservative millionaires to deceive the press and the American public with these so-called "Tax Day Tea Parties."