Full Frontal Scrutiny: exposing front groups

Hey, you're probably already aware of front groups, which pretend to represent grassroots efforts, and are actually run by suspect politicians or shady corporations. They're sometimes called "astroturf," since they're the opposite of honest grassroots efforts.

More bluntly, the purpose of a front group is to deceive consumers or voters.

Well, Consumers Union WebWatch and the Center for Media and Democracy have just launched Full Frontal Scrutiny, the purpose of which is to expose consumer-related front groups.

The Full Frontal Scrutiny site is debuting today with an investigation of front group activity on Wikipedia. The information includes a guide to help consumers get the most out of that site and other information sources on the Web, and with a history of front groups and their nefarious activities. Full Frontal Scrutiny will also publish selected content from WebWatch and from the CMD's SourceWatch site, as well as aggregating news about front groups from other reliable sources.

I've taken a good look at all involved, and they're for real, CU and CMD have outstanding records for integrity and accuracy.

Note that CMD does excellent work regarding political front groups, which is not part of the Full Frontal Scrutiny mission. Check out their report on Freedom's Watch.

Disclaimer: I'm on the board of Consumers Union and on a related group, Sunlight Foundation.