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Douglas Schoen & Americans Elect in Media Tango: No Relationship Talk, It’s just a Dance

On December 31 2010, Douglas Schoen wrote a prediction about 2011′s “biggest political surprise” in a piece published by the Washington Post:

The biggest political surprise of 2011 will be the emergence of a potentially serious third-party candidate for president in 2012. There is simply too much dissatisfaction with Washington and with our political system for this not to happen…. Moreover, polling that I have done shows that in excess of 60 percent want a third-party candidate.

When Douglas Schoen made this prediction, he did not disclose his relationship to Americans Elect, which was then already planning exactly the sort of third-party presidential bid that Schoen “predicted.”

On April 27 2011, Americans Elect published a “news roundup” featuring a link to and an excerpt from an editorial in the New York Daily News by Douglas Schoen decrying the two-party system. Nowhere in this “news roundup” does Americans Elect disclose that Douglas Schoen is involved in the leadership of Americans Elect as a member of its Board of Advisors.

On June 8 2011, Americans Elect published a “news roundup” featuring a link to and an excerpt from an editorial in the Daily Beast by Douglas Schoen blaming the two-party system for deficiencies in Americans’ sex lives. Nowhere in this “news roundup” does Americans Elect disclose that Douglas Schoen is involved in the leadership of Americans Elect as a member of its Board of Advisors.

Thanks go out to Rachel Beabout for pointing me to an editorial by Douglas Schoen published in the Wall Street Journal on August 25 2011. In that editorial, Schoen adopted a pose of having discovered “evidence” of a group called Americans Elect:

We already see evidence on the ground that from the discontent coursing through the electorate there may emerge a third or even fourth political party that would be competitive in next year’s presidential election. Look no further than the recent launch of the centrist, bipartisan, Americans Elect. This is a nonprofit political organization that plans to break the stranglehold of the two-party duopoly by selecting a third presidential ticket, via an Internet convention, that will be on the ballot in 2012.

Nowhere in the editorial does Schoen note that he is in the leadership of Americans Elect as a member of its Board of Advisors.

As Beabout also informed me, Americans Elect referenced that very same Wall Street Journal editorial by Schoen the next day:

Have you been feeling like there’s a growing disconnect between the actions of the United States government and the needs of the American people? If so, you’re not alone. A recent Wall Street Journal article—in which Americans Elect is mentioned—cites a poll that reports “just 17% of likely U.S. voters think that the federal government today has the consent of the governed.” Clearly, Americans are looking for alternatives. Well, 83% are at least.

Did Americans Elect note anywhere that this “Wall Street Journal article” was written by a member of its Board of Advisors? You know the answer by now. No, it didn’t.

For eight months now, Americans Elect and Douglas Schoen have been partners in an elaborate dance in which Schoen repeats Americans Elect talking points and promotes the Americans Elect brand, while Americans Elect cites Schoen as a “news” source to legitimize itself and its point of view, neither noting that Douglas Schoen is literally on Board in a relationship with Americans Elect.

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