Republicans Are Making Fake News Sites To Fool Voters Because Fox News isn’t Enough



We want the news to be news. We want to rely on trusted sources and ignore those who lie to us.  It’s part of why we may bristle at stories on the latest nonsense spouted by Rush Limbaugh and other passengers in the right wing clown car.

There is room to argue that a journalist like Chuck Todd, says it isn’t his job to expose the Republican Party’s lies, is de facto giving Republicans the license to spread their propaganda.

Recently, Jason Easley discussed the dangers of conflating trustworthy media with media that tells us what we want to hear.  He says something important about the danger of falling into the same trap that people who rely on Fox or *SMH* Rush Limbaugh for their news and ideas.

There is a school of thought on the left that Limbaugh should be ignored. These are folks suffer from ostrich syndrome. They want to stick their heads in the sand and pretend like what they disagree with doesn’t exist. This desire is a manifestation of the fact that a segment of the left is becoming just like the right. There are people who only want their media to stay on the left side of the partisan fence.

Aside from understanding that propaganda comes from all areas of the political spectrum, it’s as important to understand the tactics involved. The more obvious tactics include editing comments and images to distort their original content and context. Another obvious trick, favored by the Koch brothers, is buying deceptive ads where actors are presented as “victims” of the Affordable Care Act.

Since it is election season and the GOP’s attempt at re-branding was a flop, they are focusing on what they do best – spreading lies and misinformation. The NRCC has been busy creating over 20 fake news websites.   They look like they could be new sites, but the content reads like something you’d see in a political ad or on Fox (which in many ways is one long political ad).  All the NRCC websites come from the same domain: The sites are called (name of City) Update.  They contain “analysis” of a Democratic opponent’s record that reads like a partisan hatchet job.

One example is a site called “San Antonio Update”:

Fake News Website


The site has the appearance of authenticity at least until you go to the bottom of the page where in teeny tiny letters, the NRCC comes clean, acknowledging that it paid for the site:

Obviously, the NRCC is hoping people won’t read the full content, lest they see the disclaimer at the bottom of the page.

Republicans may be thinking they have a first amendment right to lie to voters.  However, in his own advertising one Democrat points to the obvious shortcoming of fake news sites.

 Aside from being unethical, it’s a dirty trick that is also pretty insulting. The implication here is that our opponent and his friends think Texans are too dumb to know the difference between a real news website and their fake one

Another example is something called “Des Moines Update” you can see that site here. Like the previous example, this site is paid for by the NRCC.  This time the target is Staci Appel.

DesMoine Update

As the Des Moines Register‘s Editorial Board  said in an editorial on the subject of fake news sites,

 But there is nothing humorous about dressing up political propaganda as legitimate news. It diminishes the credibility of legitimate news organizations as well as the Republican Party. If Republicans want Iowans to know why they think Staci Appel should not be elected to Congress, they should clearly and honestly identify who is delivering that message rather than disguising it as an objective news report.

The fact is political ads are part of the landscape, but most of us recognize that advertising isn’t news. Advertising is intended to sell a product, a service or in the political context a candidate, a political party or a position on a political issue. That means in the best of circumstances, political ads will emphasize the positive in a chosen political candidate and the negative in an opponent.  While there are rules that preclude deception in most forms of advertising, the same is not true of political advertising.  As the Supreme Court ruled, political speech that includes outright lies is protected speech under the First Amendment.

News, at least as most of us understand it, is supposed to be factual and it is supposed to expose lies, misinformation and distortions. That’s what makes this use of fake news sites so insidious.

Image: Free Press

17 Replies to “Republicans Are Making Fake News Sites To Fool Voters Because Fox News isn’t Enough”

  1. If I choose to ignore Rush Limbaugh it is because I think he has nothing of value to say anymore, not because I exist in a bubble of leftists propaganda. He has sunk to the level of needing to up the outrage in order to maintain his ratings among the right’s cacophony, spewing hatred for all things liberal.

  2. Well said, Mike. I only identify with “Liberal news” because you dont have to be so fearful that they are knowingly using falsities and out of context quotes. In other words you just have to ignore the editorializing and you can trust their facts. When they are wrong(and that happens as well, (accidentally one hopes) they try their best to let you know in a timely fashion because they value whatever credibility they may have and want to keep it. Fox News for example doesnt have credibility with a majority of Americans… but some smart folks in my family fall for it and it burns me up. And my family isnt composed of idiots but out of 17 relatives and my nuclear family only myself, my brother and my closest cousin realize fox news is utter BS. ALL 3 of us realized long ago to let the rest of the family repeat foxisms without challenging them as they get super upset.

  3. Obviously, the NRCC is hoping people won’t read the full content…

    Because they probably won’t – and they know that.

  4. There is no liberal news except- for one hour on MSNBC 5 days a week. See Europe for Liberals.. How large is the progressive party in Congress? not large. How many Wack pot self- called Conservatives are in congress… Many

  5. What is Conservative news? How they have been the least effective Congress in history, all the while during an economic downturn facilitated by a Super majority of Repub’s between 2000 and 2006. Or is it the kiss up to large Businesses and Billionaires for funding. Don’t forget Benghazi- Kenya or Golf…. Plus the “It’s Obama’s Fault” and Reagan is a demi-God

  6. The thing that always has me puzzled is why, when they know they have to lie, cheat, and misinform to win, do they keep the same platform?

    What is this so-called conservatism doing for them that they feel they are justified in implementing their policies by hook or by crook?

    I think they will eventually lose no matter what they do as people see their policies being applied in various states where they have managed to gain majority control.

    Conservatism is a losing ideology, there is nothing to be gained by promoting hate, intolerance and greed.

  7. “There is room to argue that a journalist like Chuck Todd, says it isn’t his job to expose the Republican Party’s lies, is de facto giving Republicans the license to spread their propaganda.” Any questions as to why Todd got his new job?

  8. Lets shut Fox down. And burn some books while we’re at it.

    CNN has lost 50% of its viewership in less than 12 months because they report inaccurately. It’s a business. It’s not political. However, all on this site see everything through a political lens.

    The audience at Fox grows because people want to know what network news will be talking about in 2 weeks.

    Fox has an audience that continues to grow. It’s a business. It’s not misrepresenting the facts, its just not in line with the left progressive opinion. An alternative opinion is not a misstatement.

  9. LOL, Fox is not growing. Fox has lost viewers as well. Why do you think Hannity got moved?

    The average Fox viewer is pretty old. Social Security old. Not to mention Fox cant ever tell the truth. Its still number one on cable, its tiny compared to network news.

  10. Juan,

    Fox News doesn’t misrepresent facts? Really? What Fox News are you watching? They do nothing but misrepresent facts!

    You also say about Fox News that “an alternative opinion is not a misstatement” and that it’s “not in line with the left’s progressive opinion.”

    That goes both ways. MSNBC is not in line with the right’s conservative opinion, yet conservatives critize MSNBC all the time.

    I have no problem with an “alternative opinion.” I do have a problem when a so-called news outlet is actually just a platform for a particular political party and does nothing but spout lies and propaganda.

  11. I can not for the life of me, remember the site….that wanted to create a “leftwing” Tea Party. It stated that then, all peoples could get involved, with defeating the Obama Administration. All I could do, was just re-read the article and shake my head in wonder. WTF is wrong with these silly rightwingers and their hatred of President Obama??

  12. Shiva,
    I just had to respond to your previous comment: “The average Fox viewer is pretty old. Social Security old.” Although I have no idea as to what the “average” Fox viewer would look like, the “…pretty old. Social Security old”-comment still has me laughing and coughing at the same time! I just turned 65. Yes, I’m old. But “Pretty Old?” No way! “Pretty old” is a relative term. You’ll know it when you get there. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your “not so old.” :]

  13. Nothing declares your confidence in your positions better than having to create fake news websites to prop up your propaganda! Well done Republicans for setting the bar even lower than we thought was possible. This takes your deception to a whole new level!

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