An interesting story from HA’s John Sexton.
McGowan is spearheading what may be the most audacious project this election cycle. She’s raising $25 million from a host of wealthy liberals to establish a for-profit media company, Courier Newsroom, that has already started rolling out digital newspapers with local reporters and editors in six key swing states—Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin—to fill the news deserts, deliver the facts favorable to Democrats that she thinks voters are missing, and counter right-wing spin.
While the articles she publishes are based on facts, nothing alerts readers that Courier publications aren’t actually traditional hometown newspapers but political instruments designed to get them to vote for Democrats. And although the articles are made to resemble ordinary news, their purpose isn’t primarily to build a readership for the website: It’s for the pieces to travel individually through social media, amplifying their influence with persuadable voters…
This is the baseline fake news strategy. It’s the very thing that Democrats have been denouncing and calling for urgent measures against.
But, rather than an audicious new idea, it’s allready tired. The internet is filled with clickbait sites using fake local names to seem like they’re a local paper. The problem with this strategy is it’s likeliest to fool people who aren’t locals. Mostly, people just don’t care.
McGowan’s approach is to hire reporters and roll out something that looks like a local newspaper in order to influence local elections.
That’s a more expensive version of the existing clickbait strategy, but it’s not fundamentally different.
Meanwhile the Dems and the media keep warning about the spread of fake news sites even as they’re adding to the problem by creating fake sites that are part of a Democrat operation.
When they go low and all that. But you can bet that the Courier network of Dem spam will be immune from the usual measures taken against inauthentic content and fake news.
All of this fakeness blurs the line between bias, fake news, political operations and which combination of these three best represents the media.