We took note back in August of 2014 of a mysterious public persuasion campaign waged on behalf of energy producers by a fly-by-night group called the Friends of Safe Energy. Wheatpaste posters with a QR code directing to viral videos appeared in downtown Denver near the state capitol and reportedly in other visible locations in the state:
The videos were meant to be snarky brags from Middle Eastern and Russian energy barons about spending your money acquired through energy wealth–but in addition to being light on facts about the sources of American energy, the ads were widely condemned as racially insensitive and xenophobic:
“Offensive. Insulting. Demeaning. (It’s) Stereotyped and stigmatized versions of people,” said Robert Hazan, the chair of political science at Metropolitan State University. “Unfortunately, (it’s) protected by free speech.”
Today, it’s enough to note that at least one of the foreign villains of this pro-domestic energy campaign, Russian President Vladimir Putin…
…Has been, as we say in politics, rehabilitated.