ArchivedOctober 12 2022, 13:49 pm

US Conservative Political Campaigns Continue Using Phony Newspapers to Deceive Voters

US media is report­ing that what is described as an “opaque media orga­ni­za­tion” is being used by con­ser­v­a­tive polit­i­cal cam­paigns to send real­is­tic-look­ing and unso­licit­ed news­pa­pers to vot­ers in crit­i­cal dis­tricts. Accord­ing to the Dai­ly Beast report,

Octo­ber 11, 2022 The Grand Canyon Times isn’t a tra­di­tion­al news­pa­per. It’s part of an opaque media orga­ni­za­tion that recy­cles right-wing news arti­cles across a net­work of hyper­local-sound­ing news web­sites, which are padded out with press releas­es. As the 2022 midterm elec­tions approach, con­ser­v­a­tive cam­paigns have tapped the net­work to send real­is­tic-look­ing (and unso­licit­ed) news­pa­pers to vot­ers in crit­i­cal dis­tricts. In pub­li­ca­tions like the Grand Canyon Times, the line between news­pa­per and polit­i­cal adver­tise­ment can be porous. At least two print edi­tions of the paper, reviewed by The Dai­ly Beast, con­tained dis­claimers that described the con­tents as “paid for by the Sav­ing Ari­zona PAC.” The PAC, which sup­ports Mas­ters’ Sen­ate cam­paign, has received more than $13 mil­lion from con­ser­v­a­tive bil­lion­aire Peter Thiel. The PAC did not return a request for com­ment. Nor did the Grand Canyon Times, which lists a sin­gle email address on its “con­tact us” page. It’s not even clear the Grand Canyon Times has a news­room in Ari­zona. Instead, it’s an affil­i­ate of Met­ric Media, a net­work of con­ser­v­a­tive web­sites tai­lored to look like local news out­lets. Met­ric Media runs at least 15 oth­er local-sound­ing out­lets in Ari­zona, includ­ing the North Pima News and the Tuc­son Stan­dard. All pro­mote a curi­ous blend of con­ser­v­a­tive talk­ing points and reprint­ed press releases.

Read the rest here.

The New York Times report­ed on the same phe­nom­e­non in Octo­ber 2020

In Octo­ber 2020, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed on the adop­tion by US Pres­i­dent Trump and his allies of infor­ma­tion war­fare tac­tics nor­mal­ly asso­ci­at­ed with author­i­tar­i­an regimes.


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