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

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 Moe Lane.