Astroturf Telecom Groups Exposed

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New from the media reform team at Common Cause:

Back in March, Common Cause released its first “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing” report, detailing the activities of nine groups masquerading as think tanks and public interest organizations, but controlled by telephone and cable companies. Since then, we’ve gotten the dirt on five more.

For example, Hands off the Internet sounds like activists wanting to protect the Internet. Actually, it’s a telecommunications industry-backed organization that was spending $20,000 a day on television commercials aimed at eliminating long-standing net neutrality protections so that telephone and cable companies can maximize profit and minimize competition on the Internet.

These groups have managed to convince some members of Congress (with, just possibly, a nudge and a wink) that they enjoy public support. The Common Cause website allows people to go on the record and tell their Senators they oppose the telecom reform bill, which is, to quote CC, is “riddled with giveaways to the phone and cable companies.”

See the new report here.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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