It seems the Republican Governors Association has decided to quietly start their own online news service. And they only acknowledged the site, launched earlier this summer, as theirs after the Associated Press (a real news service!) made inquires about the mysterious site called The Free Telegraph.
[…] It (the Free Telegraph) asks readers to sign up for breaking news alerts. It launched in the summer bearing no acknowledgement that it was a product of an official party committee whose sole purpose is to get more Republicans elected.
Only after The Associated Press inquired about the site last week was a disclosure [small and tucked away on the bottom of the page] added to The Free Telegraph’s pages identifying the publication’s partisan source.
The governors association describes the website as routine political communication. Critics, including some Republicans, say it pushes the limits of honest campaign tactics in an era of increasingly partisan media and a proliferation of “fake news” sites, including those whose material became part of an apparent Russian propaganda effort during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The RGA, funded in part by the ultra-conservative Koch Brothers, is a solid backer of our own Governor Phil Scott and spent heavily ($3 million in 2016 campaign ads) to get him elected.
Some people may recall that when Vice President Mike Pence was governor of Indiana he started a government-run news service he wanted to control. He later withdrew it, following strong protest (it was dubbed “Pravda on the Plains”).
And now it smells like the RGA has hooked onto a similar fake news tactic. Those Republicans, they just can’t resist the bait of using less-than-factual propaganda to tilt the electorate their way. Something fishy, indeed.