Joe Trippi confesses sock-puppetry, but not astroturfing for Carolyn Maloney.

[UPDATE]: Welcome, Instapundit readers.

If, like Dan Riehl, you were curious at Joe Trippi’s sudden announcement that he had to take responsibility for other people’s sock-puppetry:

First, that no matter how long my association with the blogging community in fact because of that long association – it is even more important that I disclose any professional relationship with any candidate or issue I blog about or comment on.

[snip – and I’m including the previous paragraph because it’ll be important later]

But once I did it became clear to me that interns and a few staff who are my responsibility did create seven DailyKos accounts – two of which were never used but five of which were used to comment and post diaries here for the same candidates I was working for, sockpuppeting the same things I was saying here and elsewhere.  This is so unacceptable that I cannot believe it happened – but it did.

…well, it’s because Trippi violated professional ethics by lying about his paid relationship with Rep Carolyn Maloney (D, NY); he had claimed to not be working for her campaign on June 10th, and it turns out that his firm had started getting paid on June 5th (H/T: dKos, who was quite surly about it, too).  Hence the sudden concern over ‘sock puppets’ (individuals whose job it is to fake agreement and excitement at websites via posting under multiple usernames; see Greenwald, Glenn) and ‘astroturfing’ (creating a false impression of grassroots support for an issue via a coordinated campaign; see Journolist).  Trippi’s been caught out on the second, and there’s probably evidence coming up that will show that his staff were heavily involved in the first on Congresswoman Maloney’s behalf; hence, the ‘acceptance of responsibility’ by blaming anonymous staffers.

But I’m curious.  The check shows that Congresswoman Maloney could not but know that one of her consultants was going around telling people that he did not work for her – when in fact he did.  Why didn’t she immediately put a stop to that?

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.


  • Frank G says:

    because she’s an unethical scumbag?

  • lonetown says:

    I wonder if it was his astroturfers bombing cspans washington journal last thursday re: healthcare. The theme was “people should not be allowed to profit from anothers misfortune”. every call played that theme.

  • watcher says:

    it’s worse than this–the same tactics are deployed in elections at every level.

  • susan gorgo says:

    Here’s what I’m doing to fight the astroturfing and sockpuppets: Comment, comment, comment.

    No need to coordinate our message — we all simply want freedom. Let’s flood news stories with our genuine heartfelt opinions.

    There’s more of us than them!

  • DanNY says:

    I’ll go with Frank S’s take!

  • Michael B says:

    “because she’s an unethical scumbag?”

    Her officious title makes that redundant.

    “It is an indictment of a person’s character, who wants to be a politician.” — MB Kitchen

  • Josef K. says:

    Because they feel the ends justify the means?

    No bedrock code of morality means anything goes if you can gin up a justification that works for you at that moment. Trippi is only apologizing because he was caught.

  • Kevin R.C. O'Brien says:

    Well, let’s see here.

    Trippi finds it “so unacceptable that I cannot believe it happened” that his usually loyal flunkies would “create seven DailyKos accounts… to comment and post diaries … sockpuppeting the same things I was saying here and elsewhere…”

    So of course, those miscreants who so damaged Innocent Joe Trippi’s reputation were canned, right?



  • DensityDuck says:

    You know, it’s not necessarily true that she’s evil. Maybe she’s just clueless about that whole “internet thing”. I mean, it’s just a bunch of guys sitting around in their parents’ basements watching Japanese cartoons, right? It’s not like anything on the internet MEANS anything, right?

  • Michael says:

    Would that be the same Joe Trippi who took the money gathered from Howard Dean supporters while he was campaign manager and spent it with his own media firm?


  • Jim Treacher says:

    Why is anybody still hiring Joe Trippi to begin with?

  • Moe_Lane says:

    Because apparently he can fake support on Lefty blogs for his clients?

  • Maybe she didn’t notice because she was on the road the whole time.

    Why so cynical, guys?

  • […] sockpuppeting. He’s less sorry about “forgetting” to disclose that he’s been a paid consultant of Rep. Carolyn […]

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