PROP MAIL: What A Coincidence It Would Have Been. But You Know The Answer Right?

As our inbox gets regularly flooded with examples of the right propaganda email, we look forward to dissecting them and also recognizing those that do a lot of fact checking on them. We are very interested in the facts part of them but are more fascinated with a couple of core questions.

First, where do these emails come from? The lengths of them, the similarities in structure among them and the consistency of look and feel of them suggest they come from a common source.

Second, how many people see these emails? We are continually upping our estimates, and as marketing folks, we are fascinated to consider that it is possible that millions of people are seeing these emails. Every single one.

Here’s today’s example:

What a coincidence! Politics in action.

Hey, isn’t this something! Imagine the odds of this happening.
Do you know the park in NYC that’s occupied by the Wall Street protesters?
Zucotti Park.

Did you know this park is not owned by the city?
It is owned by Brookfield Properties.

Who was just hired by Brookfield Properties as an attorney?
Vice President Joe Biden’s son.

Who sits on the board of Brookfield Properties?
Mayor Bloomberg’s live in girlfriend.

Now, guess what company just received some of the last of the Obama Stimulus $$$$$$$.

That’s right, Brookfield Properties.

Isn’t life great?

Hey, on a completely unrelated note, Wisconsin is shaping up to be the swing state in the 2012 presidential elections. Not Florida. Not Ohio. But Wisconsin.

Now, guess who owns the company that will be tabulating the
electronic votes in Wisconsin.

The biggest contributor to Obama, George Soros.
What a coincidence!

Remember what Stalin said:

“He who votes does not have power.
He who counts the votes has power”.


There are some things that are true here, the name of the park, the fact that the park is owned by Brookfield Properties and that Mayor Bloomberg’s partner sits on the board of Brookfield Properties, but what’s interesting is what is the point of bringing that up? It clearly is meant as a slam but to whom? Is it suggesting that the Occupy movement is coordinated by Bloomberg somehow? When he has been very fervently against it and was the one who cleared it out? I don’t really understand that.

Joe Biden’s son was not recently hired by Brookfield Properties. His law firm had a business relationship with part of the company in 2002 and 2003, but that is false. The stimulus fact is also not an accurate claim.

But again, this implies that the Occupy Movement is a movement by the Democrats when it is not and in fact, organized protests and uprisings generally hurt the incumbent.

Of course the kicker is the Soros / Obama / Voting Machine claim. This is what I call the Core “MissFact” the core piece of information that causes this email to get forwarded and sent around and printed out and waved in anger by conservatives; especially older conservatives who think of these emails as facts.

I am sure Soros contributed the maximum of $2,500 to Obama’s campaign, but he does not bundle for campaigns nor solicit others. So there really is no ‘biggest contributor’ and if you consider bundlers, then clearly he is not.

Soros does not own any companies or invest in them that count votes. So this is clearly a factual error. Our friends at Snopes also note, that’s not really a quote from Stalin, but at that point in the email, the damage is done.

If you tended to not be a suppporter of Obama, you’d read this and come to two conclusions; the Democrats are behind the Occupy movement and that Soros is counting the votes in Wisconsin.

And that’s the problem.



About James Boyce

James Boyce has been at the forefront of the digital revolution since the mid 1990s when he was involved in the start of Slingshot in Dallas, one of the country's leading digital agencies. At Slingshot, James was creative lead on the first html and the first java script banner on the web. Politically, James was Senior Advisor to John Kerry's 2004 Presidential Campaign, was executive director of The Patriot Project in 2006 and in 2008 served as Senior Online Consultant to Bill Richardson's Presidential Campaign. A frequent guest on MSNBC, Fox News and CNN, James is also proud of his associate with The Huffington Post. Email him at if you have comments or thoughts about this site or his posts.
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