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Koch Whores / March 18, 2011

charles-koch-sock-puppet

Charles Koch—Moms, keep him away from your kids!

It’s official: the Kochs pay social media PR companies to troll the Internet on their behalf.

According to Lee Fang over at ThinkProgress, an internal Wikipedia investigation revealed that a number of Wikipedia users making pro-Koch edits were actually sock puppets set up by employees at an Internet marketing company called New Media Strategies. After being outed, a New Media Strategies rep all but confirmed the findings of the Wikipedia investigation:

Soren Dayton, a GOP operative and executive at New Media Strategies, is reported to be the contact for Koch Industries at NMS. Reached by phone yesterday by ThinkProgress, Dayton exclaimed, “I’m not going to talk about this, thanks,” before hanging up. Lyndsey Medsker, a senior account director for NMS, spoke to ThinkProgress today. She explained that NMS also maintains the Koch Industries Twitter page, Facebook page, and has an active team working on promoting Koch Industries in the comment section of blogs and news websites.

Reading Lee Fang’s post, I couldn’t help but think that the name of the company, New Media Strategies, sounded oddly familiar.

Looking back through my notes, I realized why: I had come across a New Media Strategies-Koch connection nearly two years ago, while mapping the origins of the the Tea Party AstroTurf machine, right around the time Mark Ames and I first broke the story connecting the Tea Party movement to the billionaire Koch brothers. Based on what I found then, New Media Strategies is not just a random Internet marketing company that Koch executives found by looking in the Yellow Pages. No, its relationship with the Kochs is deeper and much more meaningful.

They had worked together going back as far as 2008, when New Media Strategies partnered with the Heritage Foundation, Sam Adams Alliance and other Koch-funded organizations to set up and develop the imitation grassroots social media network that would be activated to push the Tea Party Movement. For example: In 2008, New Media Strategies was involved in a series of “RightOnline Summit” events for conservative new media activists, where its employees trained people how to use Wikipedia for “total reputation management” and worked side-by-side with star Koch media operatives like Eric Odom, who was a leading figure in the Tea Party AstroTurf campaign in February 2009. (You can read all about Odom, Sam Adams Alliance and the Tea Party AstroTurf campaign here.)

***

Yasha Levine is an editor of The eXiled. Levine and co-editor Mark Ames first broke the connection between the Tea Party and the billionaire Koch brothers in Playboy.com in February 2009, sparking lawsuit threats, and causing CNBC’s Rick Santelli to publicly distance himself from the Tea Party movement and cancel his Daily Show appearance.

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13 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. hey joe  |  March 18th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    This is all great but how about a war nerd on LIBYA!!!!!

  • 2. Hannibal  |  March 18th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    You want your Libya fix, pal? I got your Libya right here, asshole…

    http://www.bestgore.com/murder/libya-riots-victims-photo-killed-moammar-gadhafi-mercenaries/

  • 3. A Silver Mt. Paektu  |  March 18th, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    New name for suspiciously persistent teatards trolling blog comments: “soch puppets”

  • 4. rick  |  March 18th, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I edited the article for H.P. Lovecraft to make sure his reputation was assured. Every smart thing in the article is me:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._P._Lovecraft

  • 5. az  |  March 19th, 2011 at 7:50 am

    3: why not just koch-puppets?

    Also I’m glad this explains the mysterious commenter Derp.

  • 6. Marion  |  March 19th, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I always get a kick out of the tu quoque teabaggers offer whenever something like this comes up– “yeah but George Soros also contributes money to LEFTIST political causes!”. Well, sure, but Soros doesn’t funnel his money to hundreds of different sources to mask his influence, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t hire people to deface Wikipedia for “total reputation management”.

  • 7. Tits  |  March 19th, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    @1

    http://www.amconmag.com/blog/the-littlest-invasions/

  • 8. unger  |  March 19th, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Notice: I’m Charles G. Koch and I approve this message.

    This isn’t to detract from the article in question, which is entirely accurate about yet another Kochtopus adventure in astroturfing, but: let us not forget that ThinkProgress is George Soros’ outfit, and that Soros didn’t make and doesn’t keep his billions one bit more honestly than any other billionaire did. Some very, very ruthless motherfuckers run ‘progressive’ sockpuppets for the exact same reasons the Kochs run their ‘libertarian’ ones. Trust no one; verify everything.

  • 9. Rex  |  March 20th, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    The tea party is the most annoying -Real- strawman I have ever seen. Anytime anyone says “hey how about we ease up a little bit on the whole spending bullshit?” Bam tea-party strawman knocked down. A nation of sheep/

  • 10. Conseula  |  March 21st, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Also: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

  • 11. unger  |  March 21st, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I’m Charles G. Koch and I approve this message:

    I didn’t realize some multibillionaire oligarchs were ‘our’ oligarchs. But thanks for the re-education. Good massa Soros knows we progressive worker niggers ain’ like those other niggers, that we’s worker on the outside like dey are, but we’s billionaire oligarch on the inside, jes’ like him.

  • 12. jeny456  |  March 24th, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Love your articles. Saw you on Ratigan.

  • 13. Yam Digger  |  April 17th, 2011 at 12:42 am

    I looked up the Koch Industries Facebook page and it’s a pretty bare-bones affair. There’s hardly anything more than a Sinapsys of what (they say) they do. Needless to say, you can’t wright anything on their “wall” so that people like me can’t post anything critical. They have a total of 305 likes: All of which are probably they’re own Koch (sucking) employees.


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