Democratic operatives are flooding battleground states with more than 50 supposedly local media outlets that are really designed to promote liberal candidates, according to a bombshell investigation by Axios.
One man linked to the scheme is David Brock, the one-time conservative journalist who did a 180-degree turn and founded Media Matters For America, the controversial nonprofit that attacks conservative news sites. Axios’ investigative reporters Lachlan Markay and Thomas Wheatley say the operation uses a “patina of independent local news content designed to put a sheen of original reporting on partisan messaging.”
The 51 pop-up sites have names such as the Milwaukee Metro Times, Macomb Digest, Mecklenburg Herald, and the Tri-City Record, and are aimed at key swing states Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin, according to the report.
Dems operating a series of 51 'fake news' websites pushing left-wing stories in toss-up states in a bid to turn the midterms in their favor … Axios originally reported
— Cara TXZEAL (@Cara_TXZEAL) October 8, 2022
The sites carry just enough aggregated stories on local crime and sports to make them look like legitimate local news outlets, but their real mission appears to be to position heavily slanted news favoring Democrat candidates and slamming their Republican opponents, the report revealed.
The sites’ “About Us” pages reveal they are owned by Local Report Inc., an Orando-based for-profit company formed last year.
Local Report has a relationship with The American Independent (TAI), whose current president is Matt Fuehrmeyer. Fuehrmeyer was a former senior aide at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and aide to the late former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Many of the articles appearing on Local Report sites are written by a half-dozen writers who work for the Washington-based TAI, which was founded by Brock. Jessica McCreight, a former Obama administration operative, who serves as the American Independent’s executive editor, told Axios that American Independent and the Local Report have a partnership and “co-publishing agreement.” She claimed the sites are legitimate local news outlets.
“It’s been widely reported that where local news outlets shut down, dis- and misinformation grows,” she said. “To combat this challenge, the American Independent has expanded to bring readers local, fact-based news and information on topics and issues that impact their communities.”
The websites do not appear to be supported by advertisers, local or otherwise.
Sites in the dubious media chain have run glowing stories about Democratic candidates including Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Michigan Secretary of State candidate Jocelyn Benson, as well as stories critical of their opponents and others, such as North Carolina GOP Senate candidate Ted Budd.
“The media squealing about bias lol,” Brock tweeted in reaction to the Axios investigation.