DCI Group, a PR company that specializes in astroturf operations has been revealed by the WSJ as the group behind a youtube video mocking Al Gore:

Everyone knows Al Gore stars in the global warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” But who created “Al Gore’s Penguin Army,” a two-minute video now playing on YouTube.com? In the video, Gore appears as a sinister figure who blames the Mideast crisis and starlet Lindsay Lohan’s shrinking waist size on global warming. (See the video.)

The video’s maker is listed as “Toutsmith,” a 29-year-old who identifies himself as being from Beverly Hills in an Internet profile. In an email exchange with The Wall Street Journal, Toutsmith didn’t answer when asked who he was or why he made the video, which has just over 59,000 views on YouTube. However, computer routing information contained in an email sent from Toutsmith’s Yahoo account indicate it didn’t come from an amateur working out of his basement.

Instead, the email originated from a computer registered to DCI Group, a Washington, D.C., public relations and lobbying firm whose clients include oil company Exxon Mobil Corp. Read the full article.

More from the article:

A DCI Group spokesman declines to say whether or not DCI made the anti-Gore penguin video, or to explain why Toutsmith appeared to be sending email from DCI’s computers. “DCI Group does not disclose the names of its clients, nor do we discuss the work that we do on our clients’ behalf,” says Matt Triaca, who heads DCI’s media relations shop. … Traffic to the penguin video, first posted on YouTube.com in May, got a boost from prominently placed sponsored links that appeared on the Google search engine when users typed in “Al Gore” or “Global Warming.” The ads, which didn’t indicate who had paid for them, were removed shortly after The Wall Street Journal contacted DCI Group on Tuesday.

More from PR Watch.

Hat tip: (Brad DeLong).

Update: Dr Charles puts together a timeline. He also has a link to a free version of the WSJ article. Jonah Lehrer also piles on.


  1. #1 mark
    August 4, 2006

    Could that video be any more pathetic?

  2. #2 Eli Rabett
    August 4, 2006

    Might I humbly suggest this version starring Jim Glassman, Pat Michaels, S. Fred Singer and a cast of thousands of denialist emperors….


    YouTube giveth, YouTube taketh away.

  3. #3 Dano
    August 4, 2006

    I appreciate the fact that the oppo is getting worse as time goes on.

    Milloy can only get play for his latest dissembling out of the country.

    The DCI video cannot, in any way, be described as quality oppo.

    And TCS used to be convincing (it used to take work to deconstruct their mendacity), and some of the commenters there in the past actually had decent arguments. Now the entire site is a joke.

    It’s all going downhill for the denialists. All of it. I like it.



  4. #4 Hank Roberts
    August 4, 2006

    Let’s see — they’re reactive. They’re stupid.

    What next, to defeat this sort of discovery?

    Maybe a law or interpretation making it illegal to disclose an IP address, any IP address, no doubt for reasons of, um, no, wait, they don’t believe in privacy. Maybe as a Patriot Act protection — only the government should know who’s actually talking, let alone who’s talking to whom?

    After all, the Constitution only allows free speech so people can petition the Government, right? Nothing in there about people being allowed to talk to _each_other_ is there? Let alone find out who’s talking to them!

  5. #5 Carl Christensen
    August 6, 2006

    well you don’t have to be particularly clever or witty, look how the right-wing twits have built up Ann Coulter & Rush Limbaugh as “intellectuals.”

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