The Sciences

The Tea Party and Astroturfing

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyOct 26, 2010 5:44 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Last night I attended a screening of the documentary (Astro)Turf Wars, which is a very unsettling depiction of the Tea Party and its corporate connections. The film makes the case very strongly that the industry supported Americans for Prosperity has been the spur for a large amount of Tea Party activity, wrapping its corporate agenda in the language of freedom, patriotism, and the battle against "socialism" (as if we have any in this country to speak of). The film poses some pretty difficult questions, because it's clear the Tea Partiers are very real people and do believe what they say--quite fervently. But at the same time, what they say on issues like healthcare reform and global warming is not only radically divorced from reality, but also clearly serves somebody else's interests (and not, if they are average non-wealthy Americans, their own). In this context, the documentary convinced me to at least take seriously the idea that we're not just dealing with "grassroots" activists here. But I also feel that there was a great right wing constituency for outrage against Obama, just waiting to be tapped--and that this often happens around the mid term of a presidency. Was the Gingrich Revolution also an astroturf phenomenon? In any case, here's a trailer for the film:

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Magazine Examples
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.