You may recall last year that Rick Perlstein signed up for the mailing lists of a bunch of right wing websites and immediately began to be inundated with emails full of fantastic and ridiculous get-rich-quick schemes. Erick Erickson, owner of RedState, provides a perfect example of how to use your mailing list to shill for con artists — just like Ann Coulter did with nearly identical language a few years ago:
Erickson emailed subscribers to his RedState.com email list this week claiming he’s found the “best investment advice I know of, bar none,” in the financial newsletter of analyst Mark Skousen. Yet 12 paragraphs of Erickson’s signed endorsement are virtually identical to language used by Ann Coulter in emails nearly four years ago.
Erickson’s email — titled, “How to Retire in Comfort Even If You DON’T Work in Government” — attacks public-sector workers for purportedly living in luxury with President Barack Obama in office. He then endorsed Skousen’s newsletter, which purports to reveal a “secret” system to becoming “instant millionaires.” Erickson claimed that Skousen “knows how to make you money,” and the “best investment advice I know of, bar none, can be found in Mark Skousen’s Forecasts & Strategies — and I urge you to give it a try.”
While Erickson’s and Coulter’s emails contain different openings — Erickson mocks public sector employees, Coulter criticizes liberals — the two converge when it comes to pitching Skousen’s financial newsletter.
You can see the two emails side by side here. The relevant portions are pretty much verbatim. This is marketing copy. And the company behind that email was the same one behind most of those scam emails that Perlstein received:
Both Erickson’s and Coulter’s emails were sent through Eagle Publishing’s The Human Events Group, which represents the email lists of both conservative commentators. The company lists a rate of $6,250 for renting RedState’s list, though it’s not clear if an Erickson-penned endorsement bumps the cost. Skousen’s website, like RedState, is owned by Eagle Publishing.
Politico reported in June 2011 that Eagle Publishing was selling Erickson’s endorsement “as part of an advertising package, according to an email circulated by an account executive.” A Eagle executive said the email was intended for “a handful of [conservative] organizations that have expressed an interest and that Erick feels strongly about.” Erickson responded on his website by claiming “my endorsements are not for sale. I don’t know who the guy is who sent the email, but he certainly did RedState no favors.” Media Matters reported at the time that Eagle was also selling the “unprecedented opportunity” to sponsor the newsletter of Newt Gingrich, who was running for president at the time.
In related news, grifters grift.