"astroturf" as euphemism?

Mark Mandel Mark.A.Mandel at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 9 16:37:49 UTC 2009

I'm more inclined to think that the writer thinks that "euphemism" is a
fancy word for "synonym" or "shoptalk expression"... or for "fancy synonym".
(I started to type "cynonym"... interesting blend, that!)

m a m

On Sun, Aug 9, 2009 at 12:05 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>wrote:

>  From a posting by Patricia Murphy at the "Politics Daily" blog,
> regarding the national health care "debate":
> http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/08/04/pelosi-calls-anger-over-health-care-reform-astroturf/
> ========================
> House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office sent out a fact sheet to
> reporters Tuesday afternoon, calling recent demonstrations at
> congressional town hall events "Astroturf," the Washington euphemism
> for a corporate public relations campaign disguised to look like a
> grass roots citizen movement.
> Pelosi said that while Democrats are putting forth proposals to
> reform health care, "those not interested in health insurance reform
> are disrupting public meetings and not allowing concerned
> constituents to ask questions and express their views. Many of these
> opponents who are shutting down civil discussion are organized by
> out-of-district, extremist political groups, and industry-supported
> lobbying firms."
> ==========================
> I always thought "astroturf" in the political sense, as in "astroturf
> campaign", "astroturf movement", etc., was a clever coinage to refer
> to (what are represented by the speaker, and here the Speaker, as)
> faux-grass-roots efforts on behalf of a position or a candidate, but
> if it's a euphemism I'm not sure what it's a euphemism for, and whose
> feelings are being spared by its use.

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