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PR Firm Behind Al Gore YouTube Spoof? 777

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the new-intarweb-trolls dept.
mytrip writes to tell us ABC News is reporting that a supposed amateur video posted to YouTube.com may have actually been designed and posted by a Republican public relations firm called DCI. From the article: "Public relations firms have long used computer technology to create bogus grassroots campaigns, which are called 'Astroturf.' Now these firms are being hired to push illusions on the Internet to create the false impression of real people blogging, e-mailing and making films."
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PR Firm Behind Al Gore YouTube Spoof?

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  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:18PM (#15856525)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZSqXUSwHRI [youtube.com]

    And if any PR company produced that, they're seriously over paid.
  • Re:Disclosure? (Score:5, Informative)

    by iroll (717924) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:32PM (#15856558) Homepage
    So, he, uh, flew on a plane all by himself?

    By the way, maybe you should go see "An Inconvenient Truth." There's a lot of needless Gore biography, but the major point is that we can reduce a lot of CO2 emissions WITHOUT changing our lifestyles. Instead we need to stop being cheap bastards (and stop glad-handing our corrupt and inefficient industries) and pony up for some simple investments and regulations (like matching European and Asian fuel efficiency and investing in something other than coal power).
  • Re:The Linux Penguin (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:33PM (#15856563) Journal
    If it was a parody of Linux, it would be considered fair use. It's not a parody of Linux. Therefore, it's trademark and copyright infringement.
  • Re:Disclosure? (Score:5, Informative)

    by thisnow1 (882441) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:37PM (#15856579)
    I keep hearing that statistic about his use of air fuel, but should he take a rowboat to China? You didn't see the movie probably- and I'm not saying anyone's "obligated" to do so. The message, however, as far as I can tell was very calm: This is a legit problem (spends a whole bunch of time on that- demonstrating things are a indeed bit amiss) but w/ some adjustments in efficiency and other areas this is a problem that does not need to be a problem. His presentation is not a call to abolish jetliners as we know it or make everyone get out and walk to work. At best, you could call him a hypocrite w/o any other way to get his ideas out yet. You make it personal (I guess as I'm doing w/ you right now) and miss the argument entirely- unable to weigh its merits. That last jab at 'ol Al for making that wacky statement that he invented the internet... check this out: http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp [snopes.com] But ignore all this, since you seem more interested in information from the "competitive enterprise institute" or the DCI Group- folks who like when they can get others to roll their eyes and dismiss new ideas.
  • IMHO (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:42PM (#15856599)
    As a media professional, after watching this video, I would like to say that it definately looks professionally produced, while at the same time aiming for an "amateurish" quality (like the Blair Witch Project, Digg, etc.)
  • Re:Obvious? (Score:5, Informative)

    by errorlevel (415281) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:43PM (#15856600) Homepage
    Actually, DCI has ExxonMobil as a client.
  • Re:The Linux Penguin (Score:3, Informative)

    by jamie (78724) <jamie@slashdot.org> on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:01PM (#15856659) Journal
    Yes! [newsforge.com] Oh, the humanity!
  • YouTube search (Score:4, Informative)

    by Null Nihils (965047) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:05PM (#15856667) Journal
    If you submit this search [youtube.com] on YouTube, you'll also see the following counter-submissions:

    Re: Al Gore's Penguin Army [youtube.com]
    Al Gore's Penguin Army - Propaganda [youtube.com]
    'Al Gore's Penguin Army' Misuses Linux Mascot! [youtube.com]
  • Re:The Linux Penguin (Score:2, Informative)

    by AchiIIe (974900) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:15PM (#15856695)
    It's not a parody of Linux. Therefore, it's trademark and copyright infringement.

    Not true, it depends on how the logo is licensed. In this case the logo has been created by Larry Ewing, Simon Budig, and, Anja Gerwinski. They decide how it may be used. See Tux.svg [wikipedia.org] and more importantly: http://www.home.unix-ag.org/simon/penguin/ [unix-ag.org]:

    ... The use of these drawings is free ...
  • Re:Justified? (Score:2, Informative)

    by WiFiBro (784621) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:33PM (#15856746)
    Not getting the point?

    Michael Moore is clear: he says who he is, and what his opinion is. I assume he is not payed by companies to do his work. Prove me wrong if you can.

    You may say he is selective and slightly manipulative, others may call that professional, but anyway everything he claims is pretty much backed by facts, otherwise he would most probably have been sued for libel or slander.
    Or do you know somethign I missed?

  • Re:Disclosure? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Trailer Trash (60756) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:36PM (#15856753) Homepage

    I keep hearing that statistic about his use of air fuel, but should he take a rowboat to China?

    No, he should take a commercial flight. A 747 is very efficient - getting about 100 miles/gallon/passenger, definitely as good as my minivan at literally 10 times the speed. Al decides to fly around in a private jet which is getting a fraction of that milage per passenger. He has choices, his choice is to use tons more fuel for his convenience.

    Your argument here is what we call a "false dichotomy". His choices are more than "private jet" or "rowboat".

    As for the "internet" quote, the snopes article is obviously written by someone with a bias. I was watching when he said it, and his exact words were "I took the initiative in creating the internet." I did a spit-take; it was one of the most brazen lies ever concocted by a politician.

    The excuse that his supporters use is that he's claiming that he supported congressional initiatives to fund the internet in the early days, which he did. But the phrase "I took the initiative" means "I did this". You cannot "take" a congressional initiative, you can only create or support such an initative. Look at the word "initiative" at dictionary.com. Al used definition 2, his supporters claim that he meant definition 3.

  • Re:Obvious? (Score:4, Informative)

    by WiFiBro (784621) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:47PM (#15856782)
    Some detective work on where he mailed from. But don't tell them, they made this mistake before, and will hopefully do it again.
    "Monsanto's PR firm admits involvement in e-mail campaign to discredit scientists"
    (2002)
    http://www.ethicalinvesting.com/monsanto/news/1007 6.htm [ethicalinvesting.com]
  • by WiFiBro (784621) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @08:04PM (#15856835)
    Also a simple check on the reliable as ever internet makes the republicanity of DCI pretty clear.
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=DCI_Gro up [sourcewatch.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2006 @08:49PM (#15856955)
    Apologies if this has already been posted, but someone has written this up on wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DCI_Group-YouTube_vid eo_scandal [wikipedia.org]
  • Re:CMD vs DCI? (Score:5, Informative)

    by radtea (464814) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @10:43PM (#15857219)
    You're joking, right? I'd estimate 99% of the replies to this article on Slashdot are people with pre-formed hard-boiled views who are just pushing their side or looking for people who agree with them.

    Perhaps English is not your first language. This is one of those subtle aspects of English that give non-native-speakers quite legitimate fits.

    "Dis-interested" in this context means that you do not have a financial interest in a given position.

    The CEO of a company that is embedded in the hydrocarbon economy--an oil, coal or automobile company, to name but a few examples--has an interest in convincing people that global warming is nothing to worry about, because their company's profits and the CEO's fat bonus and golden handshake depends on it.

    The average /. poster has no such interest. Even those of us, like me, who are heavily invested in the stock market, are mostly smart enough to be well-diversified, and therefore not hugely exposed to a downturn in the fosil energy sector.

    "Dis-interested" does not mean "has no opinion." It means, "has no non-rational (financial , religious or similar) reason for pushing a particular opinion over others."
  • Um, about your signature "Libertarians are really properly called propertyarians and when push comes to shove value material things over liberty." First, the term is "propertarians", and second, you reveal your ignorance. Libertarians value property rights because you need ownership of things to have freedom. On the most basic expression of the term "property rights", you own your own body. If you didn't, then somebody else would, and you would be their slave. The next most basic expression is that you own the food you eat. If you didn't, then you would be paying somebody else rent on the food that you eat and .... you wouldn't exactly be a slave, but you wouldn't be very free either. The next most basic expression is that you own anything you can trade your time for (that is to say, you own your own productive output). Again, without property rights, you have no freedom.

    Do you perhaps now understand that propertarianism exists not to advance material values, but instead to advance liberty?

  • Re:Disclosure? (Score:2, Informative)

    by slightlyspacey (799665) on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:21AM (#15857435)
    It's quite evident what Gore's motivation is. Al Gore's motivation is whatever is best for Al Gore. The man is a politician. He craves power. It's just that simple. Mr. Gore has not hesitated in the past to use every means available to him to suppress [americanthinker.com] scientific dialog that he doesn't personally agree with (See Politicizing Science: The Alchemy of Policymaking [hoover.org] PDF files for more examples of the politicization of science)

    From the article:

    As Jonathan Adler wrote in the Washington Times on July 27, 1994:

    "Concurrent with Mr. Lancaster's attack on Mr. Singer, Mr. Gore himself led a similar effort to discredit the respected scientist. Mr. Gore reportedly contacted 60 Minutes and Nightline to do stories on Mr. Singer and other opponents of Mr. Gore's environmental policies. The stories were designed to undermine the opposition by suggesting that only raving ideologues and corporate mouthpieces could challenge Mr. Gore's green gospel. The strategy backfired. When Nightline did the story, it exposed the vice president's machinations and compared his activities to Lysenkoism: The Stalinist politicization of science in the former Soviet Union."

    In fact, the 2/24/94 Nightline edition which Adler refers to included a segment-end wherein the host, Ted Koppel, said (jaw-agape emphasis mine):

    "There is some irony in the fact that Vice President Gore, one of the most scientifically literate men to sit in the White House in this century, that he is resorting to political means to achieve what should ultimately be resolved on a purely scientific basis."

    .......

    In an interview with Mike Miliard of The Phoenix, he recalled:

    "Gore would run star-chamber hearings and invite the heads of funding agencies while he would try to get scientists [who doubted climate change's severity] to recant. . . . Everyone in the eld knows [that] when the funding went up to $2 billion a year under Bush the elder, that money didn't come because people thought climate was a wonderful thing. It came because of alarm."

    Lindzen himself explains how "global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silence" in his 4/12/06 article, "Climate of Fear":

    "Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis."

    So, effectively, Gore's intimidation tactics over the course of the last decade and a half have achieved his desired goal through a menacing combination of politics, words and financial control. At a glance, it would certainly appear that a significant number of American scientists have been molded into obedient, PC puppets.

    .....

    Just so there is no misunderstanding, I do agree that Mr. Gore along along with a myriad of other politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle are men of principle. The one principle they cherish and have indeed adopted as their own was first espoused by H.L. Mencken:

    "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed----and hence clamorous to be led to safety----by menacing it with a series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

    I studied and researched global warming as a student some 12 years before Al Gore discovered it. At least then, the scientists and researchers could admit that their results were inconclusive or even ran counter to conventional wisdom in this arena without fear of losing their funding. It was, simply, because it was not an emotional politicized panic button issue the way it is today.

    As [testermanscifi.org]

  • The Video (Score:4, Informative)

    by wdr1 (31310) * <wdr1@ p o b ox.com> on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:49AM (#15857736) Homepage Journal
    Not sure why the article doesn't link to the video, but after searching around, found this:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=IZSqXUSwHRI [youtube.com]

    -Bill
  • Re:Obvious? (Score:5, Informative)

    by packeteer (566398) <[packeteer] [at] [subdimension.com]> on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:56AM (#15857747)
    You phrased these lines in a typical deceptive way. What you should have said was "LIBERALS brought an end to slavery in America." Remember that the Republican party was the left leaning party in the 19th century and the democrats where the conservative right wing party.
  • Re:Obvious? (Score:3, Informative)

    by skam240 (789197) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:54AM (#15857848)
    While I will agree that both parties are subject to corruption I find your examples of moral or immoral actions on the part of the democrat and republican parties a bit skewed.

    Republicans brought an end to slavery in America.

    Wow, talk about a radicaly outdated reference. The republican party of Lincoln is almost nothing like the party of today. packeteer said it well when he said it was liberals who freed the slaves, not modern day republicans.

    I also find it funny that, that is the most recent positive deed you can come with for the republican party. speaks wonders for them.

    Democrats let 1,000,000 Rwandans die.

    Both parties are guilty of ignoring Africa. I don't see Bush Jr. rushing to do anything about the situation in Sudan and the massive loss of life taking place there. I should also mention before some one says "it's because we're too busy with Iraq" that there was plenty of violence happening in Africa prior to 9/11 and America's military adventurism in the middle east.

  • Re:Obvious? (Score:3, Informative)

    by packeteer (566398) <[packeteer] [at] [subdimension.com]> on Monday August 07, 2006 @07:42AM (#15858123)
    they were not leftist (no agenda of forced redistribution, etc).

    So having an agenda on forced redistribution is the test of being liberal or not? Also once again im reading deceptive wording. Using words like "agenda of forced" makes it seem like a minority is forcing a majority to do something. Also im nto even sure what your talking about but I assume you mean policies such as student funding and food banks are "forced redistribution (of wealth)".

    But back to your original statement, no my example does not lose all relevence. It was a LIBERAL or if you prefer the word PROGRESSIVE viewpoint that stopped slavery. You seem to have a knee jerk reflex to leftism as it relates to communism which, remember, did not exist in the 19th century.

    You are trying your hand at revisionist history and its not working so well. Stop trying to drag modern feelings and pre-conceived notions to a discussion about something that happened in a different time.
  • Re:Obvious? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ulfalizer (881975) on Monday August 07, 2006 @07:51AM (#15858144)
    I suggest that you go find some real scientists of the climate sciences and ask them for their opinion on the causes of global warming. There's practically consensus ( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/570 2/1686 [sciencemag.org] ) among workers in the field that the recent global warming is a man-made phenomenon.

    That so many have begun questioning this is a testimony to the effectiveness of recent PR campaigns from those who'd suffer from regulations.

    Please don't just take my word for it though. Do the research yourself. Find workers in the field and ask them for their opinion. Find web pages and articles that discredit the theory that humans caused global warming and DO BACKGROUND RESEARCH ON THE AUTHORS. That last point cannot be stressed well enough, as it will reveal a disturbing pattern of vested interests and hidden sponsors.

    As an example, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on _climate_change#Survey_of_US_state_climatologists [wikipedia.org], the only "against" I could find on that page. A quick background check reveals http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Citizen s_for_a_Sound_Economy [sourcewatch.org].

    I recommend the book "Trust Us, We're Experts" to anyone wanting to get insight into how the modern PR industry operates.

    Ulf Magnusson
  • Re:Obvious? (Score:3, Informative)

    by packeteer (566398) <[packeteer] [at] [subdimension.com]> on Monday August 07, 2006 @09:42AM (#15858512)
    Remeber that Lincoln was a man of his day. It would be extremely unusual for him to really care about slavery as an educated rich white politician. Despite this there were people who did care on moral grounds to see slavery stopped. These are the forward thinking people that we call "progressive" by the most strict definition of the word.
  • Re:Obvious? (Score:3, Informative)

    by isa-kuruption (317695) <kuruption@k[ ]ption.net ['uru' in gap]> on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:01AM (#15858984) Homepage
    Well, since we're taking things out of context, Lincoln also was quoted in a letter:

    What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union;


    And then there was also this quote:

    I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.


    Oh and those quotes comes from... OH YEAH THE SAME LETTER YOU QUOTED FROM. In fact, here's the full text of the letter [netins.net]

  • Re:Obvious? (Score:2, Informative)

    by crazyeddie740 (785275) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:02AM (#15858990) Journal
    Actually, the Communist Manifesto was published back in 1848 (the same year as the Revolutions of 1848 in Europe), so Communism did exist in the 19th century, and before the Civil War to boot. Whether or not there were Communists here in the States is another question, and I'm not sure about the answer there.

    But on the whole, I do agree with your post. Abe Lincoln's Republican party was "liberal" given certain defintions of liberal. He was also a Blue Stater. Today's Republican party is not the party of Abe Lincoln.
  • Sorry for the slight quibble, but the US hasn't been the "most-admired" country around for quite some time. It was most admired really only from the time of the colonies to the advent of slavery. We got a few admiration points post civil war all the way to the second world war. Foreign like of our country waned after that point due to foreign policies of various administrations. By the late 80's and into the 90's we were seen by most countries as arrogant towards the rest of the world and ignorant of others problems. Whether this loathing was deserved or not is debatable, but the viewpoints are well documented throughout history.

Physician: One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well. -- Ambrose Bierce

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