On Wednesday, we exposed the right-wing billionaire behind the new anti-union movie Won’t Back Down that’s releasing today in theaters. It seems like the critics are on to his game too — the movie has a pitiful 33 percent rating on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.
So the film’s promoters have taken a new route to try to boost the film: astroturf reviews. Education blogger Jersey Jazzman and advocate Leonie Haimson has discovered that Matthew David, a staffer with Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst — which is working with right-wing groups to promote the movie — actually wrote a review of the film on the Rotten Tomatoes site in an attempt to boost its rating.
Here’s a screenshot of David’s review:
A few other StudentsFirst staffers also wrote reviews on the site, but they at least did identify themselves as members of the organization, unlike David. David is actually a former McCain rapid response staffer and Bush-Cheney campaign operative.
Interestingly, one of the other Rhee staffers who posted a review, Catherine Durkin Robinson, was previously caught offering the chance to win a gift card to individuals who would promise to post comments in favor of Rhee’s agenda.
What all of this means is that Big Money groups are doing everything to try to make their education agenda — one of disempowering unions and empowering private schools — popular. Unfortunately for them, the facts just aren’t on their side.