Clueless Joe™ Biden was in Virginia on Tuesday, mumbling and stumbling his addled little heart out for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe against rival Republican Glenn Youngkin. Except Biden barely mentioned Youngkin’s name, choosing instead to continue his TDS fixation with Donald Trump.
As we know, Trump ran against — and largely ran his presidency against, as well — the “fake news” media, principally CNN and MSNBC — and anyone else who made up crap about the former president. Enter: Terry McAulliffe. As reported by Fox News on Wednesday, a Fox News investigation found that McAuliffe has spent nearly $100,000 advertising “fake news” websites on Facebook during his flagging campaign.
It gets worse.
You know what they say — if you’re buying ACTUAL fake news ads to mislead and misinform, you’re clearly very confident in your chances.
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) October 27, 2021
Based on the investigation, Fox was able to report that McAuliffe’s “advertisements” — which have been viewed up to 3.5 million times so far, are hidden on a Facebook page (Try to control your shock and amazement) with a name similar to a local news website. The ads link to third-party websites that ostensibly publish local news, but exist solely to promote Democratic candidates.
Like most political candidates, McAuliffe has a Facebook page under his own name to promote his campaign, but the former governor also uses the aforementioned Facebook page, which blurs the lines between a political campaign and disinformation, as Fox noted.
The page, which was quietly launched by McAuliffe in June, is called “The Download VA.” While the name of the page sounds similar to that of a news organization, it has not published any posts or photos, and only 67 people had “liked” the page as of the Fox News report.
— Hold My Beer (@RealLibSmacker) October 27, 2021
Here’s more, from Fox News (emphasis, mine):
Instead (of “liking” or participating on the page), most voters who have encountered “The Download” have done so through paid advertising. The ads do not appear on the page itself but can be obtained through a Facebook Ad Library Report, a tool used by journalists and researchers. The McAuliffe campaign has spent $471,044 on ads distributed by this page since June. With several ads running at time of publication, that number is likely to rise before election day.
The advertisements generally contain a comment and a link to a mainstream news article that covers the campaign favorably. But sprinkled among the links to legitimate media are seven separate advertisements (and dozens of variations) that promote websites widely considered to be “fake news”.
Noooo. Why I never…
This paint McAuliffe as a sleazy candidate willing to traffic in falsehoods in order to win an election. But … we knew that already, no?
— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) October 27, 2021
In a July ad, The Download wrote about McAuliffe’s views on small businesses. The ad included a link to an article published by a third-party website called The Virginia Dogwood. The Dogwood bills itself as a local news website, noted Fox, with daily articles about local issues in Virginia, dedicated sections for key topics, and a newsletter to give Virginians “all the news you need.” The Dogwood says (lies) on a page describing its publication that it delivers “credible, fact-based reporting.”
In an October 19 article titled Partisan Sites Posing as Local News Expand Ahead of Election in the Wall Street Journal, the WSJ reported that as local news outlets suffer cuts, political donors see a way to influence election coverage — including pushing “fake news” and once again proving Donald Trump right.
The WSJ cited multibillionaire Democrat donor George Soros and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman as two examples. Even left-leaning Axios reported Tuesday that the “newsroom” is owned by influential Democrat Tara McGowan’s “Good Information Project,” which is backed by many of the same investors.
In another October “article” — propaganda piece — The Download wrote that Youngkin has a “very concerning” policy on COVID vaccination, and included a link to an article published by a third-party website called The American Independent. According to Fox:
The Independent is also designed to look like a news website. In an “About” section, the website says it is a platform for “progressive news,” and elaborates that it reports “with honesty and integrity, shining a light on those in power and the progressive politics movement,” suggesting to readers that it offers an objective assessment of the movement.
The website says it is funded by The American Bridge 21st Century Foundation, although it does not disclose how much of its funding comes from the foundation, but it is the only investor listed on its “Company” page.
McAuliffe early on was widely expected to run away from Youngkin — or so most Democrat pundits thought — but is instead locked in a tight race with Youngkin, with the race appearing “up for grabs” with just five days before go-time.
According to the Independent, reported Fox News, the foundation is on a mission to “compare and contrast progressive and conservative solutions.” Au contraire. It is actually a well-known liberal “dark money” organization, founded by sleazy David Brock, a wealthy and influential Democrat donor who is also a close ally of the Clinton family. Brock’s group spent $59.7 million to oppose Republican candidates in the 2020 election cycle, according to the campaign finance tracking organization OpenSecrets.
The Fox News report continues with other serious “fake news” allegations against McAuliffe, hardly a surprise to those of us who have long seen McAuliffe for exactly what he is: a lying sleazeball who will do or say anything he has to do or say to win — honesty and integrity be damned.
Observations — three scenarios.
If McCauliffe beats Youngkin by a substantial margin next Tuesday, Democrats running for re-election in the 2022 midterms and beyond will beat on Trump from now until the last polls close on election night. However, if Youngkin wins or McAulliffe squeaks buy by a proverbial whisker, Democrats will (make that should) learn that continuing to focus on the Devil’s spawn — Donald Trump — is no longer a winning message, particularly with independent voters.
The question is whether Democrats would heed that message. History suggests they would not.
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