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When Time Inc. Employees ATTACK with "Astroturfing" !!! What Are they Afraid of?

Folks we've been doing this blogging thing for a while, so we've mastered a thing or two. One thing I've mastered is the predictability of my comments section. There is an ebb and a flow. Lurkers undoubtedly have the greatest understanding of the WAOD comments section because they have the good sense to steer clear of the rhetorical roller derby :) I LOVE my lurkers!

I read every comment posted... every one that makes it past my sophisticated filtering system. One group of people that ALWAYS sticks out in the comments are "interested parties" attempting to appear as something other than what they are.

Let me start by saying that I assume that at least 50% of the people that read this blog don't agree with me. It is my expectation that the people who I name specifically in a post will take issue with my criticism. I post it anyway. If they come to the blog and identify themselves and choose to publicly disagree with me, I bump their comments up to post level because that's the fair and honorable thing to do. So I admire the people who have the guts to claim their stuff and confront critics openly. I even admire those who choose to remain anonymous and confront the substance of my posts on the merits of the argument and don't try to lob some lame weak-kneed, CATTY, junior high lunch room personal attack.

Roland Martin claimed his criticism. Karen Stanford claimed her criticism.  Reggie WhatsHisname claimed his criticism. Even the oft ridiculed Tamika Mallory (bless her heart) claimed every ounce of delusional ranting that she stuffed into my email box. Sure, I didn't agree with these folks, but they claimed their stuff. You knew who they were. You knew their motivations. I would even go so far as to say that when they responded, they never once implied that we didn't hold a genuinely held  belief, they just took exception with what we believed.

What I do not admire are deceitful, insecure, cowardly, duplicitous, dishonorable, unprofessional, neurotic employees of one of the largest media companies in the world PRETENDING to be someone else by using a pseudonym and a FAKE email address to try to defame me on MY OWN BLOG in the comments section I PAID FOR and have the audacity to do so from said LARGEST MEDIA COMPANY IN THE WORLD'S COMPUTER NETWORK! I believe its called ASTROTURFING:
Astroturfing is a word in English describing formal political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf.

The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual pushing a personal agenda or highly organized professional groups with financial backing from large corporations, non-profits, or activist organizations.

Just a little bit about Time Inc.
" Time Inc., a Time Warner company, is one of the largest content companies in the world. With a portfolio of 23 U.S. magazines and more than 25 U.S. Web sites, including some of the world's most popular, powerful and trusted brands, it is the largest magazine publisher in the U.S., and a leading publisher in the U.K. and Mexico. Time Inc.'s popular brands and successful franchises extend to online, television, cable VOD, satellite radio, mobile devices, events and branded products. Each month, one out of every two American adults reads a Time Inc. magazine, and one out of every seven who are online visits a company Web site."

No, I didn't delete your comments TIME Inc. employees, they've been sitting in the moderation cue for 48 hours while I decide what to do with them. So all the Time Inc. cubicle keyboard warriors can ponder which two of their coworkers were so shiftless and lazy that they didn't bother to do their astroturfing from home, a BlackBerry or some other mobile device that would not leave such an obvious trail ( 8 lane highway) leading back to their employer. Was it a Golf Magazine employee? Or maybe it was someone from Southern Living? InStyle? Or was it someone who works for magazine I recently suggested you BURN! These questions and more on the next edition of WAOD vs Utter Stupidity, Part LXX. Y'all have a nice weekend!

Reader Comments (29)

The oil companies are notorious for this. But they could never be outdone by MSM.

Clearly you are on the right track.

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaJane Galt

Essence is maintaining a consistent level of quality both in the magazine and in blog comments, at least...

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErica

{loud gales of laughter at this} I'm always tickled at how amateurish so many of these "I wanna be a 'black bag operative'" Colored corporate employees are.

I don't think they used their work computers for Operation Astroturf because they're "shiftless and lazy." [Although, they most likely are shiftless and lazy.] I think they used their work computers because they are clueless. As is demonstrated by their work product at "Messence." [Hat tip to the other commenter who came up with that! LOL!]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKhadija

I really needed this laugh today. I only wish I could post a hysterically laughing smiley. Thanks for staring my weekend off with a good one.

PS: Something tells me that this entire issue may make it up to a board room meeting somewhere for discussion. Don't know what will happen, but someone has taken notice.

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLorraine

LOL. You know black folks who work on those media plantations fight hard to maintain their spot in which they claim they suffer so much marginalization. They don't want to get in trouble and lose their free tickets to the Essence Festival

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

LOL. You know black folks who work on those media plantations fight hard to maintain their spot in which they claim they suffer so much marginalization. They don't want to get in trouble and lose their free tickets to the Messence Festival

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

*Slithering out of lurk mode*

This post made my morning and I'd bet my right ovary that employees at Essence are behind this.

PLEASE post the messages!

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterA. Moore

In the interest of full disclosure I must say that I used to be a Time, Inc. employee. I worked for Oxmoor House which is the publishing division of Southern Progress which owns Southern Living. I walked off the plantation years ago due to the racism I encountered even to an employee telling me I was hired for 'complexion improvement.'

I can't speak for the Messence folk, given that they were acquired after I left, but from personal experience I would say no level of fucknuttery is beneath that company.

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

Haaah! "Messence" I Love it! LOL

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJustMe

I'm glad you did this post. We want FULL DISCLOSURE. Not a fight, just some accountability....that's all I'm sayin'. I'm sure some of those Messence employees are the more recent hires and they really have no idea what they've gotten themselves into. It's the bosses who should really step up not the lackeys. Like whoever approved such an atrocious article in the first place.....

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

I wonder if Black Essence employees ever get in touch with Black BET employees to get advice on how to be a sellout and pretend that you're not?

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMonie

Cliffhangers!! Now how will I not think of your blog all weekend long...

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermiriam

Sometimes people just don't know.

I would hope that maybe one or two Messence employees might look at the June issue from a different angle after reading this blog.

Maybe a light bulb or two .......

I mean if they grew up in the black community I know and I lived they would not know how to show concern for black women and girls because they wouldn't have seen it practiced.

Girls were considered "fast" "loose" and dangerous if they were not religious church goers. Boys were coddled and women fought each other like prize fighters for the last few "good men". I would imagine some of the women who grew up in my lower middle class community went on to work at magazines.

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknockoutchick

A lot of college educated blacks think they are different or better than the black general populations, like the ones who work at Messence and BET, when actually they have just been hired to bring their ghetto outlook to sell under the guise of black entertainment.

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

Well, no other blogs are talking about this pathetic excuse for a magazine so they should be honored!

Naima, you are SO right. I have encountered so many EBP who think their sh*t don't stink. I have a girlfriend who used to work in the art department there as a sittings editor and she said those women are so friggin' bougie it made her sick to her stomach. So she left and went to Vibe where she encountered the same thing.

Sellout blacks have infiltrated nearly every corner of media and their faces allow whites to say that what they promote is not racist. It's a win, win situation for the conglomerates.

The only real solution is to continue with blogs and wait until all these folks are unemployed. Which they will be, very soon.

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHollywood Blackout


Aww come on...you got to let us see some of these comments...

That's not fair...I need someone else to argue with besides u Gina:-)

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

LOL Messence!

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbrownbuddah

Awww, you should feel honored, Gina! How did they even know? They must be regular readers - which could mean you have more readers than Essence actually has these days! They USED to be great! Take it as a compliment that they even spent their energy here, maybe they'll learn something along the way.

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterchrissy snow

lol!! Thanks for the laugh. I'm glad you are laughing too

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

I knew we were dealing with a "special" sect of black folks at Essence when they defended that Kim Porter article years ago. They have progressively gotten worse. I can't believe they have hired those that would be so stupid as to post comments defending what I'm assuming was the dumb suggestion that single women go to a strip club to meet a man bs. Gina, I haven't always agreed with your stance on hip hop. I still think kids are more influenced by the adults around them than they are rapper xyz BUT if this ain't the video hooches coming home to roost, I don't know what is.

LOL @ Messence and SMH @ "complexion improvement"

Please post the comments.

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrose32

I"m kinda interested in the, "this is the best black women can expect" writers at Messence had to say too!! Share those awful comments please!!!

June 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLD

I'm going to publish the comments of course people, but why not let a couple dozen folks sweat over the weekend wondering. Must y'all rob me of all my enjoyment?

They are actually lame and innocuous.

June 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

Thank you Thank you so much for this blog as it has opened my eyes to the nucking futtiness of the media, esp. as a late in life Sociology major, this 'splains loads...keep the new terms "messence" etc. coming I needed this reality check and need them often!

I look at Essence and BET in a different light now "wolves in sheeps clothing" no wonder I have DMX (Lose my mind up in here) on my Ipod now.....

June 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWanna Twinkie

I am just checking out your website, so this is a dumb question, but based on a previous post and guessing from your blog name, are you gathering info on violence against women and girls? If so, thank you for doing that.

I found your blog because I visit PUMA Pac.

Kudos on leaving the plantation, Roslyn at #8. I've seen plenty of racism in Alabama and northwest Florida, and the comment made to you does not surprise me.

The media just sucks now. After the last 18 months, I'm done with it. For me, the only other periods where I was most discouraged about our leaders and our media were during the Iran Contra debacle and the Clarence Thomas confirmation (because of the Anita Hill hearings). I was three when Watergate happened, but I think our media actually did its job back then. WTF happened? Oh, yeah, same reason we can't get health care reform: sell outs. I saw recently that our health care committee in the Senate is bought and paid for by the health insurance industry. No change comin' anytime soon. And the media is just a propaganda arm for the owners now - corporations, certain politicians, etc.

June 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDragonfly

This isn't the Essence of yeateryear or our mom's generation.No, these people gave the green light to a Puffy/Kim Porter cover and the guy left her to destroy another impressionable(confused) young girl. Essence is a hot crock of crap, and yea...I already knew they were on a windling and endless road to freaking I don't know where with this new publication.Essence does not Care about us, GEM.SMH in disgust!!!

June 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterl

I am from the generation of sistas that helped Essence become a stable publication within the industry. I subscribed to the magazine and it was a must have in my home. It was a relevant publication that I enjoyed reading.

I also refused to renew my subscription for a couple of years because it became obvious that the staff had lost touch with their readership. It filled with too much gloss and over the top with mental froth.

My current subscription is about to expire. I do not intend to renew it. I find that it has become irrelavant once again. There are a few standard articles that I like to read. The rest of it is just brain fodder.

What really bothers me is the fact that there is not one black magazine published that I want to spend my money on. That indicates that there is really a major problem within the industry.

When I was growing up I would spend hours reading Ebony, Jet, Look and Life Magazines. This is how I gained exposure about the world that I lived in as a child. Now I cannot help but to wonder what my granddaughters and grandson will read that will help them to develop their knowledge base about the world they live in?

June 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermsladydeborah

MsLadyDeborah: I think this leads to a larger question of where our cultural heritage has gone and what it's been replaced with. Who and what are going to be left standing?

June 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

With today' digitial tools, it's not difficult to do an online magazine. The costs are drastically lower than a print mag (bandwidth is the big one) and could even be done using volunteer submissions. Look at the magazine New Moon as an example (this is a print mag, but check their overall structure.) This could remove the influence of media agencies that have the bottom line, but not our interests at heart.

The Black blogosphere is huge, and there are lots of very good writers, photographers, people interested in fashion, and computer-savvy folks. So with the right support, and organization the concept is doable. Maybe float the issue at Blogging while Brown?

June 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteranna

I hope i didn't miss the posting of the astroturfed comments from the spooks who sat by the blog :-) I also hope all of this makes the next hot Messence editorial meeting! I don't know a single grown ass black person who takes these magazines seriously (the whole crew of black-on-black mainstream mags). To be honest, I'm not sure that they are really interested in the grown and thinking demographic; but if they are, hopefully this will be a wake-up call.

June 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNathalie

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