For those on the ground in Charlotte, it is becoming clear just what the Democratic National Convention 2012 is: the most astroturfed political event in recent memory. First, Breitbart News reported that the Democrats could be using trick photography to fill the convention hall. Then, we reported that Democrats are restricting media access for conservative naysayers. After that, we reported that Democrats have been using the ubiquitous Obama symbol rather than the historic donkey symbol of the party, largely in order to focus on Obama’s cult of personality. And even after that, we reported on the tiny hall the Democrats are using to make the arena look packed.
Now, the Obama campaign is sending its surrogates down to the convention floor to stir up faux enthusiasm. One of its surrogates stood in front of a small group of Obama backers, leading them in chants of “Fired up! Ready to go!” The cameras from the networks were planted even with the Obama surrogate, so that it looked as though the crowd was chanting totally spontaneously.
In fact, that’s just how the media reported it. I was sitting next to Tory Dunnan of CNN as she reported on the convention. “Enthusiasm is growing!” she grinned. “People on the floor are chanting ‘Fired up! Ready to go!'” She was so excited that she tweeted it.
No mention of the Obama surrogate. No mention of the astroturfing. According to the media, Obama’s recapturing that 2008 magic. Except he isn’t.