Cardinals "Stand for Stan" Campaign: Please Stop Calling it "Grass Roots"

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So, if you haven't heard by now, the Cardinals have launched a campaign to get baseball legend Stan Musial the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest distinction a U.S. citizen can receive.

The so-called Stand for Stan campaign is a virtual social-media blitzkrieg with the Cardinals crafting an online petition for fans to sign, another webpage for folks to upload photos of themselves posing with a cartoon Musial replica, and -- of course -- the requisite Twitter and Facebook accounts.

And, as with anything Cardinals-related in this town, the traditional media has followed suit. Tomorrow ESPN 101.1 FM will spend the entire day promoting the "Stand for Stan" campaign live from Mike Shannon's restaurant. Earlier this month the Post-Dispatch gave the campaign front-page coverage.

Here at Daily RFT, we'll join the chorus. Give Musial the damn medal. (Hell, if Ted Williams was worthy of the honor, so is "The Man.") But we will not follow suit in calling the initiative a "grass roots campaign" -- as has been echoed in other media.
Exhibit A: "Although he's one of the most decorated and beloved stars in his field, the Cardinals hope a grass-roots campaign can score Stan Musial the highest honor in the land." -- Post-Dispatch, May 26

Exhibit B: "Grassroots support is growing for a local campaign to get the White House to recognize Hall of Famer Stan Musial with the U.S. Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor" -- St. Louis Business Journal, May 28

Exhibit C: "...the Cardinals have enlisted their fans once again to "Stand for Stan" and join a grass-roots campaign to convince President Barack Obama to award Musial the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States. -- St. Louis Beacon, June 27
People, people. The Busch Stadium infield in the 1980s had more grass roots than the "Stand for Stan" campaign. Yeah, that's right. When a multi-million-dollar organization like the St. Louis Cardinals launches a quasi-political, social-media onslaught, the term isn't grass roots. It's astroturfing. Just sayin.

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