The Democratic National Committee secretly deployed thousands of activists to call radio shows and disseminate talking points while posing as ordinary listeners ahead of the 1996 campaign, The Washington Free Beacon is reporting.
The Free Beacon attributed its information to documents in the Clinton Presidential Library. It said the DNC’s Talk Radio Initiative (TRI) had the blessing of the Bill Clinton White House.
The activists were trained by Democrats to try to mold public opinion using talk radio, according to the website.
“Volunteers must be able to keep the project confidential so as not to create the image of a ‘Democratic conspiracy’ to infiltrate Detroit area talk radio shows,” a 1995 TRI guide prepared by Michigan Democrats said. “Democratic performance in the 1996 elections will no doubt be affected by the success or failure of this initiative.”
And it added: “If you are afraid that producers are beginning to recognize your name and are weary of allowing you on the air, use an alias. For example, be Carol today, Sue tomorrow, and Debbie on Friday!”
The Free Beacon reported memos about the program were forwarded to Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and Chief of Staff Leon Panetta.
It said the idea was sparked after the 1994 elections when the GOP captured the House of Representatives.
“Democrats have largely ignored talk radio, and only since the last election, have we paid attention to how we can win back the airwaves and the discussion,” a DNC report on the project read.