Microsoft: "We'll take the Astroturf Supreme, please"

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by techie, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. techie

    techie Guest

    Found this one on Newsforge:

    <http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2003/0312.confessore.html>

    But TCS doesn't just act like a lobbying shop. It's
    actually published by one--the DCI Group, a prominent
    Washington "public affairs" firm specializing in P.R.,
    lobbying, and so-called "Astroturf" organizing, generally
    on behalf of corporations, GOP politicians, and the
    occasional Third-World despot. The two organizations share
    most of the same owners, some staff, and even the same
    suite of offices in downtown Washington, a block off K
    Street. As it happens, many of DCI's clients are also
    "sponsors" of the site it houses. TCS not only runs the
    sponsors' banner ads; its contributors aggressively defend
    those firms' policy positions, on TCS and elsewhere.

    James Glassman and TCS have given birth to something quite
    new in Washington: journo-lobbying. It's an innovation
    driven primarily by the influence industry. Lobbying firms
    that once specialized in gaining person-to-person access
    to key decision-makers have branched out. The new game is
    to dominate the entire intellectual environment in which
    officials make policy decisions, which means funding
    everything from think tanks to issue ads to phony
    grassroots pressure groups. But the institution that most
    affects the intellectual atmosphere in Washington, the
    media, has also proven the hardest for K Street to
    influence--until now.

    <snip>

    TCS's articles have also complemented work being done by
    DCI. During 2000, Microsoft contracted with DCI to perform
    various services, among them generating "grassroots"
    letters opposing a breakup of Microsoft and launching
    Americans for Technology Leadership, an anti-breakup group
    funded in part by Microsoft and run out of DCI's office.
    Meanwhile, down the hall, Tech Central Station went on the
    offensive, inaugurating an "anti-trust" section that over
    the coming months would publish little except defenses of
    Microsoft and attacks on the software maker's corporate
    and governmental antagonists, with occasional detours into
    the subject of lawsuit reform. (Microsoft smartly plugged
    some of the articles on its own Web site.)

    <snip>

    Until 2000, for instance, Glassman had written about the
    government's case against Microsoft on precisely one
    occasion. (He opposed it.) After Microsoft became a
    sponsor of TCS, he inveighed against the suit in nearly
    two dozen columns for the site. He also penned op-eds for
    another dozen or so publications and appeared on TV to
    attack a Microsoft breakup in vivid, even strident terms.
    (On "Crossfire" Glassman argued that one court decision in
    the suit placed "in jeopardy not just high technology,
    but, I think, the entire U.S. economy that's been
    booming.") <snip>
    techie, Dec 9, 2003
    #1
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