After Donald Trump’s 2016 landslide victory in the electoral college, Democratic Party strategist Tara McGowan concocted a new plan to undermine the president’s strength in swing states: fake newspapers.
McGowan is well on her way to making her vision of an American Pravda a reality. Her outlet, Courier, is designed to appear like a straight news website from a fictional small town paper close to where you live when in reality it aggregates stories from the left-wing blogosphere.
Bloomberg has more on the leftist plan to slip opinion-swaying news into your Facebook feed:
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…
Several months ago, without fanfare, McGowan launched the first of her newspapers, the Virginia Dogwood (“Your source for Virginia news”). The next, Arizona’s Copper Courier, followed in early October, and the rest are scheduled to make their debuts sometime around year’s end.
McGowan—a former journalist herself, who worked at 60 Minutes and CBS News—says she sees Courier Newsroom as a continuation of that work. Despite her obvious political motivations, she says that her newspapers will supply objective, fact-based reporting no different from what appears in mainstream outlets, and that a firewall between Acronym’s political staff and Courier’s journalists allows the newsroom editorial independence. That claim will almost certainly inflame those on the right and left who already believe that much of what passes for news, especially on social media, is driven by political agendas intended to manipulate unwitting readers.