Wow. It takes a certain special kind of narcissism to star in your own astroturf campaign, but that’s exactly what Washington lobbyist Rick Berman did. And Berman didn’t star in just any old astroturf ad, he starred in an anti-union ad airing during the Super Bowl in a year and in a city where union-busting is front-and-center.
Berman specializes in creating nonprofit front groups that shill for corporate interests. His past clients include Phillip Morris, Coca Cola and Tyson Foods, and they hire Berman to shift public opinion in the form of issue-ads. Berman’s organizations always have innocent-sounding names like “The American Beverage Institute” and “The Employment Policies Institute” who push agendas like fighting minimum wage increases and pick fights with groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving. And now they union bust.
In the ad that aired a group of “auto mechanics” complained that they had never voted fro the union they’re in. One of the mechanics: Berman.
This Berman creation is the Center for Union Facts and it’s sole purpose is to peddle misinformation about unions. And what better, more cynical way to sell that to the American public than to put the brains behind the deception right in the middle of the ad?
Photo from aflcio via flickr.