"astroturf" as euphemism?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Aug 9 18:11:07 UTC 2009

At 8/9/2009 12:50 PM, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
>On Sun, Aug 09, 2009 at 12:05:27PM -0400, Laurence Horn 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/
> > 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.
>So your problem here is with Pelosi's use of "euphemism",
>rather than "Astroturf"?

I think it's not Pelosi, but the article writer, who used "emphemism."

But I think there's some justification for calling "astroturf" a
euphemism.  Calling the activity, more bluntly, "a corporate public
relations campaign disguised to look like a grass roots citizen
movement" (see Larry's original post) might offend some -- such as
the corporate public relations guys.


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