May 21, 2024
Democrats have launched a number of feigned local news outlets in key swing states as a way to push party-aligned content ahead of the midterm elections, according to reports.

Democrats have launched a number of feigned local news outlets in key swing states as a way to push party-aligned content ahead of the midterm elections, according to reports.

At least 51 apparent local news outlets have cropped up in the last year across 10 battleground states under names such as the Milwaukee Metro Times or the Mecklenburg Herald, according to Axios. The sites operate by aggregating stories about sports and other local news while mixing in heavily slanted political content propping up Democratic candidates.

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The sites are purportedly run by a company called Local Report, according to the “About Pages” for each outlet. Additionally, the sites may be partly run by the American Independent, with writers from that outlet contributing content to each of the sites, according to Axios. 

The sites appear in 10 key swing states, including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The tactic of disguising partisan messaging as objective news reporting has become an increasingly common strategy among political operatives in recent elections. However, spokespeople with Local Report have argued their goal is “sharing local news and providing readers with fact-based coverage of their communities,” according to Axios. 

“We are proud to collaborate with partners like the American Independent that are also committed to bringing the public reliable information that they can trust,” the spokespeople told the outlet.

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However, Local Report has come under scrutiny for misrepresenting original reporting from other outlets to push a certain narrative. A reporter from the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer accused the outlet of not only using his reporting on Georgia abortion laws without credit but also “twisting the story a little.”

Local Report stories seem to have influence, cropping up in communications from entities such as the Democratic Party of Georgia, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Michigan’s secretary of state, and more.

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