Wednesday, August 13, 2014

ISBL Asshat[s] of the Week: The NRCC

This makes no sense to me. I mean, when you have Fox News and its minions of ALLEGED “reporters” and talking heads at your beck-and-call, why create a fake news site?

But, apparently, the National Republican Congressional Committee [NRCC] which just last year created a series of fake Democratic candidate websites — sites that were taken down when it was revealed they were nothing but lies and fakes created by the NRCC — has now launched another set of phony websites, this time designed to look like local news sources.

The NRCC has created over twenty fake news sites that they use to challenge Democratic candidates for office and is using Google to promote the sites. These one-page websites look like a local news site, with logos like "North County Update" or "Central Valley Update"  and the “articles” look like an impartial news story about a Democratic candidate.

And, if you think you’re reading an impartial news source about a candidate for office in your area, you suddenly find the “news” site bashing the Democratic candidate. And it you read all the way through to the bottom you find the itty-bitty disclaimer that the NRCC paid for the site.

Just as the NRCC did last year with the fake Democratic candidate sites, they promote these “news” websites through Google search ads. For example, if a voter in Democratic Representative John Barrow's Georgia district searches his name on Google, the first ad that appears leads to a faux news site called ElectionUpdate2014, that bears the tag-line: "Find Out More About John Barrow. We'll Provide The Facts: You Decide."

When you click that link you find yourself at a page called "Augusta Update" — Augusta is a city in Barrow's district — and the article begins, "Today, we're reviewing Barrow's record to see if his campaign rhetoric matches his record."

All well and good if it was an impartial news site, but it’s created and funded and run by the NRCC and ends with the line: "That kind of record doesn't sound like someone who puts Georgia first. It sounds like someone who has put President Obama ahead of his constituents."

Andrea Bozek, communications director for the NRCC, and apparent asshat extraordinaire, says: "This is a new and effective way to disseminate information to voters who are interested in learning the truth about these Democratic candidates."

Except the site is a lie; it’s not news, it’s a political ad, and a lie, disguised as news and created by the GOP's campaign arm. It says a lot about the GOP that they feel the need to resort to these kinds of tactics in order to “get the word out.” I mean, I guess the truth takes too much time? Or maybe the truth doesn’t fit within the GOP.

Sadly, the sites appear to be within legal limits, even though the NRCC's disclaimer box at the very bottom of the faux-news sites does not include the URL of the committee, which is a requirement.

Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee [DCCC] says this about the fake sites: "[The] House Republicans' campaign strategy to overcome their own historic unpopularity is to resort to deception — again."

Andrea Bozek’s response: "They're just jealous, that they didn't think of this strategy first."

Only the GOP and the NRCC and people like Andréa Bozek can call a lie, a deception, a fake news site, “strategy.

The NRCC. ISBL’s Asshats of the Week.


the dogs' mother said...

Applause! Well deserved.

Helen Lashbrook said...

The sleaze barrier for politicians gets lower every day. When you can pay to disseminate lies as news you know we have reached a new low that will soon become the norm.

anne marie in philly said...

don't know who's lower - the kartrashians or politicians or used car salespersons or preachers? hmmmm?

Biki Honko said...

How on earth could this be legal? It seems that a political ad should need to be more upfront with the info that its an ad! GRRRRRR!