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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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  • Obvious? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Silverlancer (786390) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:13PM (#15856505)
    This falls into the category of "duh" for me. Who else would sponsor such a thing? Maybe the oil companies?
    • 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:Obvious? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Golias (176380) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @09:40PM (#15857066)
        Every college newspaper in America has job openings posted around election season offering to pay you to pretend to be a motivated volunteer cold-calling and canvassing for the Democrats or various 527 groups. How is it news that the Republicans also astroturf?

        Unless you've been incredibly naive, that is.
        • Re:Obvious? (Score:4, Funny)

          by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @09:55PM (#15857100)
          How is it news that the Republicans also astroturf?
          The difference is that the Democrats do it for the forces of Good, while the Republicans do it for Evil.
        • Re:Obvious? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Roody Blashes (975889)
          I like how when things like this show up the rethuglicans always spin it as "oh, we didn't do anything bad. THEY do it too!". But, of course, what the thugs did is always about one hundred times more morally bankrupt than what the dems did.

          See, the problem with dems paying kids to push their talking points by phone is that it's telemarketing, and people hate telemarketing.

          The problem with thugs paying a PR firm to produce a smeer video full of false information under the guise of gentle jesting by a person
          • Re:Obvious? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by DeadChobi (740395) <DeadChobi.gmail@com> on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:25AM (#15857443)
            Remember that anything is justifiable in the cause of The Party. Deciet and treachery are made acceptable because they believe that their goals are noble. In a way it's just as despicable as invading a soverign nation to depose a despot. The Party wouldn't accept that as just, but did it all the same. Frankly I think that the fact that they think they can lead us around by our collective asses using our own information-sharing technology speaks volumes of their morality, or lack thereof.
        • Re:Obvious? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by biendamon (723952) on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:18AM (#15857431)
          How is it news that the Republicans also astroturf?
          Might it be because the callers you're talking about identify themselves as either members of the Democratic party or employees of a 527? And that those calls are not astroturfing?
    • Re:Obvious? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by intnsred (199771) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @09:09PM (#15857006) Homepage
      I agree. The oil companies and right-wing have poured millions for many years into discrediting global warming and environmentalists in general. This has been profusely documented.

      What's surprising is if this can be linked directly to the Republican Party. After all, we know they worked many ways to undermine the last two national elections [gregpalast.com], but a direct link to dirty tricks like this would be hitting an all-new low. (As if cooking elections isn't low enough.)
      • Re:Obvious? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by xenobyte (446878) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:52AM (#15857845)
        The oil companies and right-wing have poured millions for many years into discrediting global warming and environmentalists in general.

        Now, I don't particulary support the oil companies (don't even own a car, and I even walk most places as 'suggested' in this spoof) but I think the global warming scare has been blown so much out of proportion that it has begun to look a lot like a religious cult where facts and reality has stopped being important at all, and the core idea is bigger than anything.

        Nobody stops up anymore and questions anything. It is now considered a fact carved in stone that global warming occurs, that it is entirely man-made and that the right action by man absolutely will fix everything. It is heresy to even consider that some or all of the effects seen might be the result of some natural process not understood completely. It is downright blasphemy to even hint that the suggested actions intended to fix things actually might make things worse (due to lack of understanding of the deeper issues).

        I think it's time for some serious de-programming here.
  • The Linux Penguin (Score:3, Interesting)

    by keesh (202812) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:15PM (#15856508) Homepage
    Isn't that the Linux penguin? And isn't said penguin trademarked and copyrighted?
    • Re:The Linux Penguin (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Null Nihils (965047)
      Yes, that's the Linux Penguin.

      I was intrigued to see that Roblimo has posted this video to YouTube, after he saw the astroturf video in the Slashdot submission bin:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Y08z9QMe0o [youtube.com]
    • Re:The Linux Penguin (Score:3, Informative)

      by jamie (78724)
      Yes! [newsforge.com] Oh, the humanity!
    • by Junta (36770)
      If we are playing the whole intellectual property game (which we conveniently like to do when someone we *don't* like pulls this stuff), did they:
      -Get the permission of DC to use the likeness of 'The Penguin' in making over Al Gore?
      -Get the permission of Marvel for using X-Men 3 imagery?

      So they managed to rip off the Linux logo, and both of the major comic publishers, they really wanted to piss geeks off...
  • {old,new} news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:16PM (#15856514)
    Political hacks have been sponsoring spin in books and the "news" media since forever. What's new here is that they now see the blogosphere as important enough to merit attention.
    • Re:{old,new} news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FFFish (7567) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:25PM (#15856722) Homepage
      What's new here is whether we let them get away with it. "It" being the use of negative campaigning as a means to deceive the uninformed audience.

      There is opportunity here to inform the cow-like public that they are being manipulated by assholes. US elections have become a race among liars and crooks. Time to demand better, partly by taking responsibility for one's own role in the process.

      If enough of us take the time to care about the social quality of the candidate, we can have a system of honest, compassionate, competent people who are in it because they want us all to do well. A rising tide floats all boats: the greater the common good (ocean), the greater the individual good (your boat).

      The only way to have long-term generational success is to ensure we make sure everyone has the opportunity for good health, good education, good standards, and good safety.
      • Re:{old,new} news (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Reaperducer (871695) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @09:12PM (#15857013)
        If enough of us take the time to care about the social quality of the candidate,

        For those of you too young to remember, that one of the big issues during the 1992 campaign. Republicans said that Clinton didn't have the character to make a good president, and Democrats kept pounding home that, "character doesn't matter," making the Republicans out to be old-fashioned 1950's squares who didn't understand that running the country doesn't take integrity.

        Fast-forward to a post-Lewinsky world and neither side seems to give a crap about the integrity of their candidates.
        • by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918@g m a i l .com> on Sunday August 06, 2006 @10:19PM (#15857158)
          Yes, the history books will clearly draw two dividing lines regarding US politics in the 20th century: pre/post-WWII, and pre/post-Lewinsky...
        • Re:{old,new} news (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rix (54095)
          I'm willing to bet that Bill Clinton has more integrity than you do. Who polishes his nob is no ones business but those involved. Sexophobes included.
          • Re:{old,new} news (Score:5, Insightful)

            by niktemadur (793971) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:09AM (#15857780)
            Absolutely. Amen to that.

            While republican pundits and gop congressmen were tearing their own shirts in self-righteous indignation over the result of an $80 million investigation over real estate deals (a stained blue dress), the rest of the world didn't snicker at Clinton's peccadilloes, they in fact snickered at "the ridiculousness of those american prudes, so hung up about sex".

                  And then, the ringleader of the impeachment movement, Newt Gingrich, resigned his post on the eve of Larry Flynt publishing in Hustler the nine extramarital affairs Gingrich had been involved in during the previous twenty years.
                  And then, Gingrich's replacement, Robert Livingstone, who promised to continue the good fight for morals, integrity and decency, withdrew when Mr. Flynt uncovered one of his extramarital affairs.
                  And then, the largest mouthpiece against Clinton's sins, thrice-divorced comedian Rush Limbaugh, is caught with industrial quantities of OxyContin and, later, unprescribed Viagra while returning from a caribbean vacation.

            These hypocritical imbeciles are seen as 'martyrs' and/or 'heroes' in republican twisted family values circles, while Clinton is viewed as The Devil Himself. Yeah, right.

            What many people do not get is that Clinton did not parade a stained blue dress in front of all the american public, children included, republicans did. Clinton did not flaunt and wave the image of a soaked cigar in front of the american public, republicans did. And then they tore their shirts in moral indignation at how the minds of children are being poisoned with decadence and depravity.

            Under republican so-called standards of decency:
            In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, and that would be Bill Clinton.
        • Re:{old,new} news (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hey! (33014) on Monday August 07, 2006 @08:43AM (#15858285) Homepage Journal
          Democrats kept pounding home that, "character doesn't matter,"

          That's the narrative of the '92 election put forth by the Republicans. While I'm sure in this vast country you can probably find a Democrat that uttered these words, this was just a Republican talking point, a straw argument they attributed to their enemies so they could manipulate the opinions of their base. Looks like it worked in your case.

          A more representative Democratic viewpoint on character is this: character matters, but it's complex. Good people do bad things some times. Democrats believe in mitigating circumstances and allowances for human weakness. Republicans do not. Thus, in the Democratic view, a good man man might cheat on his wife in a moment of weakness, but he wouldn't bring up divorce when his wife while she was in a hospital bed recovering from surgery. The difference is character: in one case it's a common place flaw, in the other it's wanton self centeredness. The Republican viewpoint makes no allowance for circumstance of human weakness. It's wrong to cheat on your wife, so that's bad. It's unfortunate, but sometimes necessary to discuss divorce, so that's OK.

          Yet, the standard issue Republican viewpoint on character is more rotten than merely misguided.

          We would do well to remember what a Republican politician who sets himself up as a role model is: a politican. It only makes sense to heed this if you think politicians are suitable ethical role models. They're not. There's too much temptation. I'd even rather set up athletes as role models than politicians.

          The reason Bill Bennett gets heat over his gambling problems is because he does not live up to his own professed standards, nor does he alter those standards in light of his personal experience. He remains a self-righteous scold who plies his self-appointed trade as arbiter of moral virtue as a weapon against people who disagree with him. Same with Rush and his drug problems.

          You've given us the Republican view of the Democratic view on character. Now let me return the favor.

          From the Democratic standpoint, the Republicans view of character consists of burdens they place on others and not themselves, of standards they impose on others with no intention of living up to themselves. It's a logical outcome of a political philosophy forged to defend the special privileges of the powerful and wealthy. In the Vietnam era, it promoted the benefits of anticommunism and wartime spending without the burden of fighting the war. Now, it's the future burden of deficit spending for war profiteering, and the liquidation of the nation's social and economic gains for current profit. Capital is, after all, mobile. Those who make their living from it can exploit the homeland and move the fruits offshore, the way corrupt oligarchies did throughout the twentieth century in countless third world countries.

          Now, if the Republicans get to define "character" then I'll stand up and say "Character (as defined by the Republicans is a political ploy. It does not matter."
  • Makes sense (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thisnow1 (882441) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:17PM (#15856521)
    When I first saw the goofy cartoon, it seemed like no "real" person would've spent the time to make something so dumb. I really hope whoever threw it together got to fleece that PR firm in "production fees" for something so silly- then at least something good would come out of this.
  • 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.
    • by wizbit (122290) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:23PM (#15856535)
      And if any PR company produced that, they're seriously over paid.

      Afraid you're missing the point. YouTube is largely community-produced content, often full of drunken dancing / buffoonery and clips from TV shows, etc. This clip was designed to "fit in" and look as amateurish as the rest of the tripe on YouTube to pass the smell test for most of the content there.

      I'd say they did their job brilliantly.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:20PM (#15856529)
    Are you Gay?
    Are you a republican?
    Are you tired of the Apple Mac being associated with gay liberals?

    If you answered yes to these questions the GRAA (GAY REPUBLICAN ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) wants to hear from you.

    --
    (c) copyright 2006 DCI
    on behalf of the republican party
  • Continuation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spikexyz (403776) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:33PM (#15856565)
    This is a continuation of the oil industry and friends' campaign of "we can't argue the science anymore with out looking like morons, so we'll just call people names". It's like the bully in the school yard who knows he's wrong so he'll just kick and scream.
  • All of the penguins, the ones being hypnotized by Gore's global warming spiel, are Tux, the Linux mascot.

    So, not only did the republican PR firm want to spoof Gore, they're saying you're all dupes and idiots. (And yes, if you're reading slashdot, they mean you.)

    Ain't that interesting?
  • by Roger Wilcox (776904) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:46PM (#15856605)
    The real troubling thing here is that major news outlets including The Wall Street Journal, ABC, and even our beloved Slashdot are playing right into the hands of Exxon, DPI, and whoever else is behind the video.

    By reporting about this incident, these outlets are providing the video a vast amount of exposure that it otherwise would not receive.

    I'd bet anything that WSJ didn't stumble upon this story randomly - someone at DCI surreptitiously helped them along because DCI knew that they could get media outlets to unwittingly distribute their propaganda.

    And at the end of the day, it's still considered good PR for all parties involved - Exxon got their point out to millions of viewers, DCI got paid, and ABC/WSJ/Slashdot did a good job of uncovering the "truth" of the situation, which pleases their readers and viewers just as much as any other story.

    All of this is just an elaborate game to get you to view an anti-Gore advertisement.

    Sad that this is how the media works today.

    • Au contraire... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cowboy76Spain (815442) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:20PM (#15856705)
      If the article was just a link to the video, your post would be true. Someone would click the link, see the video and think that it was funny and (at a subconscient level) see Gore as a political who cannot be trusted (because the depiction of the video gets to the mind, even if realizing it is a joke, because it shows that people does not like him and are very vocal about it).

      But if you link to this video while telling the whole story, then the user does not see a video mocking Gore, he/she sees a video created to deceive them, created by a firm and falsely posted as Jhon Doe... as the receptiveness of the people changes, the thing that they see differs completely.
    • Exxon got their point out to millions of viewers, DCI got paid, and ABC/WSJ/Slashdot did a good job of uncovering the "truth" of the situation, which pleases their readers and viewers just as much as any other story.

      Whether that's true or not, I see a deeper effect that works to serve their interests. These sorts of stories reinforce the cynicism people have about politics, which instead of getting more ordinary people to demand their voices be heard, has lead to a disengagement from the political process.
  • by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918@g m a i l .com> on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:46PM (#15856608)
    "Burn, baby, burn. That's a beautiful thing." -- Enron trader, on the California fires

    "Can you smell money?!?!?!" -- Jack Abramoff

    "People of YouTube, I am one of you, believe my message: Facts are boring, therefore Al Gore is lying, QED. Watch more cool videos, and ignore reality... Just keep filling those tanks!" --toutsmith

    I'm not saying Al Gore is completely correct, but at least I'm not hiding an agenda.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:51PM (#15856628)
    ""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.""

    Can You Tell Which Photos Are Real? [popsci.com]
    Take these quizzes to see how well you can spot digital tampering
  • by noamsml (868075) <noamsmlNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:53PM (#15856634) Homepage
    Instead of making anything resembling a valid argument countering those in "an inconvenient truth", they resort to trying to discredit Al Gore by telling people it's "uncool" to be too intelligent and politically proactive, and that people should submit to brainless mass entertainment instead.

    I'm aware of the psychological roots of this method, but I still find it detestable. Instead of arguing like an adult, the oil firms reduce themselves to the political equivalent of taunting the guy who gets high grades and/or is knowledgeable about many subjects because he's a "nerd".

    Come on, oil companies, argue bravely and responsibly. If you think Gore is wrong, show us the proof. Don't just close your ears and shout "la la la la, I'm not listening!"

    • by clambake (37702) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @09:02PM (#15856986) Homepage
      Come on, oil companies, argue bravely and responsibly. If you think Gore is wrong, show us the proof. Don't just close your ears and shout "la la la la, I'm not listening!"

      It's not that THEY think Gore is wrong, they KNOW he is right. It's that they want YOU to think he is wrong. Otherwise it makes no sense not to just lay the fact smackdown on him from the start. This kind of thing is just to "convince" people who are already sort of in the mood to be contrary anyway who will then go and make a lot of noise and thus turn the debate into, "Oh, don't worry, it's just those two crackpot extrememist groups at it again... Boy it's hot, pass me another gin and gasoline please".
    • The reason that this crap works is that most of the citizenry is unable to follow a valid argument, neither on an informal nor formal level. Informally, can you distinguish between the 83 Rhetorical Fallacies? (Read "Attacking Faulty Reasoning" by Damer, if it's not too much work. Did you notice the three Rhetorical Fallacies contained in my first sentence?) In his book, "Dumbing Us Down", John Taylor Gatto http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/ [johntaylorgatto.com] says that if you picked up a 5th grade book on Rhetoric or Arithmetic
  • Why is this news? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DavidinAla (639952) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:56PM (#15856639)
    So what? What's the big deal if someone was paid to produce this? That's just a normal part of politics. I'm a libertarian, so I'm not crazy about Gore OR his GOP opponents, but both of the major parties have partisans who create such material. Leftist organizations such as MoveOn.org try to get people to create buzz about web sites or videos that push their point of view. What's so surprising (or wrong) about some right-wing organization or person doing the same? It's just another attempt to get an opposing point of view into public consciousness. The fact that it was done anonymously on YouTube makes is smarter.

    With that said, I think it's very poorly done. I'm not talking about the amateurish production values, but rather the weak (and unfunny) content. I'm a skeptic on global warming, but the piece just isn't effective in lampooning Gore.

    David
    • by WiFiBro (784621) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:20PM (#15856703)
      The big deal here is the dishonesty.

      Trying to make it look as if there is a grassroot movement.

      It's like the prefab letters (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3190934.st m) from soldiers in Iraq, in local newspapers.

      It's like producing thousands of letters-from-the-public to look to be genuinely written by granny's. ("In 2001, the Los Angeles Times accused Microsoft of astroturfing when hundreds of similar letters were sent to newspapers voicing disagreement with the United States Department of Justice and its antitrust suit against Microsoft. The letters, prepared by Americans for Technology Leadership, had in some cases been mailed from deceased citizens or nonexistent addresses. [3]" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing [wikipedia.org])

      It's like writing that Indians will be oh so happy with GMO cotton (http://www.newkerala.com/news3.php?action=fullnew s&id=31418), while it failed and ruined poor farmers (http://www.gmwatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=6737).

      That's LYING and CHEATING for profit. That's the problem.

  • by unity100 (970058) * on Sunday August 06, 2006 @06:58PM (#15856644) Homepage Journal
    This is not 'public relations' or not 'lobbying' - this is PAID propaganda. And this particular one, is what is actually lying about some person to demean him/her - the owners of this firm need to be sued, and to hell that is, and should be expelled from public life.

    This is NOT democracy. Anyone who tells that this is democracy, are probably other paid propagandists.
    • Double whammy (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aepervius (535155)
      Not only this is paid propaganda which, despite being uncovered by some media, will cast some shadow on al gore (first effect) but this will cast a shadow on any future internet grassroot movement (second effect). Call me paranoid but I have the feeling, seeing how the political flows and ebbs are in the USA right now, that this side effect may has well have been sought for... Think about it : eliminating or hindering grassroot campaign can only be a win for both party enabling them to canalise any politic
    • by 955301 (209856)
      What do you think Public Relations is? One of the "fathers" of modern day public relations, Edward Bernays wrote a book. It's called.... Propoganda. And the entire context is how to help a company or politician spread their message or product.

      It's actually an interesting read: http://militant.org/files/propaganda.pdf [militant.org]. It will only take a couple of days and give you insight into where modern day techniques originated from. Adolf Hitler, the American bacon for breakfast campaign, a lot of things that are popu
  • 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]
  • CMD vs DCI? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by andphi (899406) <phillipsam@gma i l . c om> on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:10PM (#15856678) Journal

    "They want it to look like this came from someone who really believes this, who is really critical of Al Gore and global warming," Farsetta said.

    There's an interesting assumption here: that the people criticizing Al Gore believe what he has to say but don't want to admit it - that Big Oil, Big Business, the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, etc. are lying when they say that they don't think "global warming" is happening. Or alternately, that only the "little people" can have valid opinions on the subject.,/p>

    How does that make sense? If I, as an average citizen, espouse the opinion "Al Gore is a boring, irrelevant blowhard", I am being honest, but once I do something like rise to the presidency of my company or amass more than a million dollars in personal net worth, suddenly a statement like "I think Al Gore is a boring, irrelevant blowhard" is disingenuous?

    • Re:CMD vs DCI? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Peyna (14792) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:21PM (#15856708) Homepage
      If I, as an average citizen, espouse the opinion "Al Gore is a boring, irrelevant blowhard", I am being honest, but once I do something like rise to the presidency of my company or amass more than a million dollars in personal net worth, suddenly a statement like "I think Al Gore is a boring, irrelevant blowhard" is disingenuous?

      Because the average citizen is a disinterested party. The head of a company that pumps billions of tons of carbon into the air (directly or indirectly) has a lot more to lose (short term, we all lose long term) if Al Gore is right.
    • Re:CMD vs DCI? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by epiphani (254981)
      I have a challenge for you.

      Provide me with -ONE- peer reviewed article that says that global warming isnt taking place.

      Also - I've done some research on this - of the vocal "scientists" that argue against global warming, all but one that I've read about was or is on the payroll of big oil. That one scientist that isnt - argues against everything. He still argues that smoking doesnt cause cancer.
  • Manbearpig (Score:4, Funny)

    by Barbarian (9467) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:13PM (#15856686)
    I see that Manbearpig features in this video. The Southpark people should sue.
  • well... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spongman (182339) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:16PM (#15856698)
    Gore may well be a boring old fart, but these images [globalwarmingart.com] are pretty interesting...
  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:20PM (#15856704) Homepage

    There are wierder online PR things. See the Megaphone Desktop Toolbar. [giyus.org] This is a piece of software designed to pump up pro-Israel responses in online polls and blogs. The toolbar pops up "alerts" when some central site sends them out. Nothing new there. But when it tells the user about a poll, the options are to vote their way, automatically, or not to vote at all. Site-specific scripts do the voting for you. Cute.

    It is supposedly distributed on behalf of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs [standwithus.com]. That's a new development - government sponsored adware. But that may be a fake endorsement. The "gyius.org" site itself has a "cloaked domain", and the "standwithus.org" site with the endorsement has phony domain registration info. There's no real contact info for either. There's an EULA with no real company name, and mention of a remote update capability. So this may be some clever scheme to get people to install adware/spyware.

    Somebody in the security business or the press really should chase this down. There's been an article in The Globe and Mail [theglobeandmail.com], but it's not about the technology.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:25PM (#15856721)
    DCI also runs Tech Central Station [techcentralstation.com], a website frequently referred to by Slashdot and its readers [google.com]. DCI's client list includes AT&T, Intel, Microsoft, and many others [sourcewatch.org]. According to their own website [dcigroup.com], they specialize in "Corporate Grassroots Campaigns" and "Internet Communications and Mobilization". They helped the Swift Boat attacks [sourcewatch.org] on Kerry and now this astroturf attack on Gore. To TCS' credit its not like they hide who owns them [tcsdaily.com].

    The lesson is, be skeptical. Don't trust someone or somebody unless they give you a good reason to do so. Don't trust me - click the links above.
  • by Herschel Cohen (568) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:45PM (#15856778) Homepage Journal
    The ABC News item cited could not even be ranked as a tepid follow up to the print article that appeared a day earlier. Moreover, a great deal of interesting facts were left out of the linked version, e.g. there were Google ads directing viewers to view the animation that suddenly disappeared when the source of this video seemed to be disclosed. Furthermore, Google is not disclosing the source of the ads. One is strongly made to wonder about the possible tight relationship to parties more interested in propagandizing their views than simple reliance upon facts. Note this was all in the Wall Street Journal original piece but strikingly absent from the latter TV <i>News</i> exposition.

    The WSJ has some great writers, just skip the editorials and art reviews.
  • Thanks DCI! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AlXtreme (223728) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @07:57PM (#15856815) Homepage Journal
    Maybe I've been living under a rock, but I hadn't heard about An Inconvenient Truth [youtube.com] before. Thanks to DCI and the youtube trailer, I think this is one movie worth watching, if only due to Katrina and the massive heatwaves over the US and Europe this summer.
  • by nEoN nOoDlE (27594) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @08:42PM (#15856943) Homepage
    I'd like to know how the PR firm infiltrated all of these blogs to even get the movie seen. I saw it on Fark and when I watched it, I was wondering why the hell the thing even showed up there. It's technically awful, it's not funny, the pacing is slower than An Inconvenient Truth (which is hard to do for a 3 minute movie!), and basically didn't have any merit to it whatsoever besides the message that Al Gore is boring. Why would it be posted to all of these popular sites?
  • by SEMW (967629) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @10:50PM (#15857240)
    I dislike arguing against a position unless I completely understand that point of view (Hell, if I don't completely understand a point of view, how do I know it's not correct?).

    So can one of the climate change skeptics around here tell me exactly which stage of the following logical chain it is you disagree with? Who knows, you might even convert me if your argument is convincing.

    One. It is fact that burning fossil fuels gives out carbon dioxide. The amount can be calculated from the amount of fossil fuels burned. This goes into the atmosphere, and since the rate at which the World's fauna is converting this back into Oxygen is reasonably static (or even decreasing, since we're cutting down vast amounts of the rainforest every year), the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will rise.

    Independant confirmation of this is given by...

    Alternative One. The fact that carbon dioxide levels are rising has been measured many times by laboratories around the globe (e.g. http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/8/88/Mauna_ Loa_Carbon_Dioxide.png [globalwarmingart.com] for one example). This rising is far above the usual cyclic fluctations due to ice age cycles (see http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/d/d3/Carbon _Dioxide_400kyr_Rev.png [globalwarmingart.com]).

    Two. It is fact that greater levels of carbon dioxide lead to greater trapping of the Sun's energy. This is settled science, and can be independantly confirmed by anyone with a cylinder of carbon dioxide, a temperature probe, and an inquiring mind.

    Three. Greater trapping of the Sun's energy will lead to a reasonably predictable rise in global average temperature. The calculation is not hard once you know the relevant specific heat capacities. Again, should the logical chain not be enough, there is independant confirmation of this from temperature stations around the globe, which fairly closely matches predictions made using the previous links in the chain (e.g. http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/f/f4/Instru mental_Temperature_Record.png [globalwarmingart.com]).

    Four. It is fact that water expands when heated. The calculation is, again, easily performed, and will lead to a rise in sea level, which will cover predictable parts of the world, especially affecting places like Bangladesh (where large areas of the country are less than one meter above sea level). The rise in temperature will also lead to the glaciers receding, and higher sea temperatures will also increase the number and severity of hurricanes. Ocean currents will also be affected, severely changing the climate in parts of the world which depend on them.

    Climate change sceptics are happy to look at the predictions of that last point and say that it's rubbish. But when I look at the points, I see a reasonably watertight chain of logic. So which point are you disputing?
  • 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

God is real, unless declared integer.

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