Report: At least 51 ‘local-sounding’ news outlets in battleground states staffed by Dem operatives

Prominent Democratic operatives at a D.C.-based operation have hired writers to flood at least 51 fake local news websites in key battleground states with their party’s content ahead of November’s crucial midterm elections according to a shocking new report.

“Behind the patina of independent local news, these sites are pumping out content designed to put a sheen of original reporting on partisan messaging,” Axios reveals.

The outlet identified “a network of at least 51 locally branded news sites” with names such as the Milwaukee Metro Times, the Mecklenburg Herald, and the Tri-City Record.

Called “pop-up” sites, the websites each list on their “About Us” pages a company called Local Report Inc., formed last year in Florida, as the entity running them, and on their mastheads, The American Independent, a progressive news outfit based in D.C., is noted for its six writers who have supplied the majority, if not all, of the content read on the Local Report sites.

And who is behind The American Independent (TAI)?

None other than the founder of the left’s favorite fact-checkers, Media Matters for America, David Brock.

The for-profit group receives part of its funding from the nonprofit arm of “an opposition research-focused Democratic super PAC” called American Bridge.

To make matters worse, TAI’s president, Matt Fuehrmeyer, “is a former senior aide at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and to Harry Reid, the late former Senate Democratic leader,” Axios reports.

And TAI’s vice president and executive editor is Jessica McCreight, who worked in communication in Obama’s White House.

While McCreight told Axios that TAI has a “co-publishing agreement” with Local Report Inc., she declined to say whether TAI maintains editorial control of the sites featuring its content.

She did, however, tell Axios, “It’s been widely reported that where local news outlets shut down, dis- and misinformation grows.”

“To combat this challenge,” she continued, “The American Independent has expanded to bring readers local, fact-based news and information on topics and issues that impact their communities.”

Said Local Report on the subject: “Our portfolio includes a number of digital news sites across the country that are focused on sharing local news and providing readers with fact-based coverage of their communities. We are proud to collaborate with partners like the American Independent that are also committed to bringing the public reliable information that they can trust.”

“The email, which came from a generic ‘[email protected]’ address, did not identify the actual name of the sender or anyone else affiliated with the company,” Axios notes, adding that “Local Report stories have caught flack for misrepresenting others’ reporting in order to cast political opponents in a negative light.”

The pop-up sites are aimed at voters in ten terribly important states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

“Local Report stories have popped up in communications from Stacey Abrams’ Georgia gubernatorial campaign, the Democratic Parties of Georgia and Michigan, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state, and independent political groups such as Color of Change and the Democratic Coalition,” Axios states.

Republican National Committee spokesman Nathan Brand said the left’s effort to control the narrative is proof of how “unpopular” Democratic policies are with voters.

“Democrats’ ideas are so unpopular and so out-of-touch that they have to build an entire network of propaganda sites to try to mislead voters,” he told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

 

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Melissa Fine

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