John Oliver of “Last Week Tonight” wants to make sure Americans aren’t fooled by “astroturfing,” which he said is the “fake grassroots” practice of “corporations or political groups disguising themselves as spontaneous, authentic popular movements.”
These groups have names that can be “deliberately misleading,” Oliver said on Sunday’s broadcast of his HBO show.
The group “Save Our Tips,” for example, sounds like an advocacy group for wait staff, but is actually financed by restaurant owners to oppose efforts to raise the minimum wage. “The National Wetlands Coalition worked on behalf of oil companies and real estate developers,” Oliver added. And the American Council on Science and Health is financed by chemical manufacturers, among others.
“It’s pure, straight-up opposite world,” he said.
Oliver pointed out that a public relations expert, Rick Berman, is known as “Dr. Evil” because of his fake grassroots attack ads.
Check out the video above to see how Oliver is fighting fake fire with fake fire.