The Inquirer-Home

US political parties: an apology

Irony Alert Points make prizes
Tue Jan 21 2003, 19:05
Republican Party blanket-emailed newspaper editors
Google hunts down "President Bush is demonstrating leadership"

THE INQUIRER WISHES TO UNRESERVEDLY apologise for suggesting that the American Republican Party, or any other US political party for that matter, is engaged in spamster like behaviour.

We now understand that when a political party -- of whichever hue -- provides a template for a standard letter that can be sent out by individuals from a political party's web site and which reads exactly the same, this is not spam, as the individual has to add her or his own address to the so-called "standard" letter, and also has to "opt in".

Such letters can therefore be in no way confused with the letters we get from Kala Umbeki, attorney in Nigeria, which looks exactly the same as the letters we get from Mr Sodindo Malinga in Zimbabwe, apart from the name, email address, and African country, of course.

We therefore wish to apologise unreservedly for any imputation we might have made that these kind of letters are in any way spam.

To that end, we wish to announce the INQUIRER PAC, which will donate five SUNW shares to both the Republican and Democrat parties, although as an alien publication we are, of course, not allowed to vote, except in Britain.

We also wish to wholeheartedly apologise to various editors of august and prestigious newspapers in the United States and its Commonwealth who were quite happy to publish the same letter under different names and from different email addresses.

This, we now understand and have been instructed by our corporate lawyers Bander, Snatch and Snark, is called, in English Law, quietus periodicus, when such editors need to fill "white spaces" on letters pages to give the impression their newspapers are being read. µ

And some letters on the topic


Thanks for your great article on the new "spam warfare" being waged by the GOP. Picked it up on Buzzflash. My wife is a registered repub, so I "signed her up" as a team leader. Just spammed 5 mags, papers, tv and radio with a few clicks using the "talking points" message. It does all the work, email or letter. Prints out the letter with the right address, ready for your signature and stamp. All you have to do is lick the stamp. Also, all of your personal info, including 9 digit zip is stored so you don't have to mess with those time consuming webforms in writing your favorite republican legislator.

Maybe CNN will do a news segment on this. You think?

Email name, address supplied


Dear Sir,

I am amused that you would even bother to feign outrage or even surprise that the Republicans (or any political party or cause) would attempt to organize a letter righting campaign to push its own agenda. many people as polls reveal (around 67%) approve of the presidents proposals as a whole and the very fact they want to get their feelings out in a literate and thorough manner is something that should be applauded, not criticized. The very fact that you insinuate these letters were NOT sent by different individuals, who merely put their names to ideas they fully agreed with but could not express as eloquently, says much more about you then it does about them or the organization they support.

Have you any evidence to the contrary that these letters were not sent out by the individuals whose signature appears on them? My experience with letters to the editor has been that a writer MUST supply his name, address and phone number to each letter sent and in every instance that my letter was accepted for publication I was called to verify that in fact I had actually sent it in.

I believe you owe your readers an apology for misleading them as well as one to the letter writers for your allegation these letters were insincere. [See apology above, Ed.]

Thank You

J. Vialonga
Email address supplied


Mr. Magee,

From your article entitled "Google hunts down 'President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership,'" it seems that you are not in favor of this practice. I have participated in this program as a GOP Team Leader, although I always edit the letter to my own liking.

I believe that this program is valuable to getting a message of support out for President Bush. I find it to be an ingenious and effective idea. Too often my local paper is riddled with liberal messages, this allows Republicans to voice their opinions.

This is certainly not spam, only leaders who elect to write letters do write the letters, and the prewritten letter is only a suggestion. It seems that liberal Democrats may attack this idea because they did not come up with it first. I assure you that they would have done the same thing.

Paul R. Stoetzer

This is one of the most bare-faced examples of the lazy media being played by fake individuals. This is the biggest news story that the inquirer has ever broken.

As a Republican, I must say that I'm disgusted by the use of two commonly-known addicting tactics to fake a ground swell of support. They are using the tactic that is known as a "Pyramid Scam" here in the US. For each person that you get to visit the site you get one GOPoint (tm). For each person that you get to sign up as a "team leader" (AKA brainless letter-signer), you get ten GOPoints (tm).

GOPoints (tm) are a system to reward "activists". These points can be converted into branded merchandising. This is the same system that cigarettes use to help addict children. The Marlboro Miles (tm) or the Camel Cash (tm) work to give an incentive to kids and weak-minded adults to keep smoking, and to not even consider other brands. The GOP obviously realized that this administration (that I didn't vote for) can't appeal to anyone that isn't getting paid off, and that it needs to keep party members from considering alternatives.

Name, email address supplied

GOP Team Leader
Email address supplied


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