North Carolina's right-wing propaganda problem

A plethora of bent "news" organizations are dotting the landscape:

Few are the issues where the differences between conservatives and leftists are more striking than those involving air and water. Under the Obama administration, policies were put in place in the name of environmental stewardship that highlight these issues. One such policy is the Clean Power Plan, and another is the Waters of the U.S. Rule.

Unfortunately, the Cooper administration is clearly taking the side of these Obama-era regulations, despite their potential for harming North Carolina.

Mark Shiver and the "NC Capitol Connection" is an offshoot of the Civitas Institute, which has been seeking to expand its influence via the creation of "fresh new" media outlets with names not directly associated with Art Pope's traditional propaganda factories. Aside from churning out misleading observations and analyses about NC's political environment, Shiver is a frequent flyer of the ncpol Twitter feed, linking to his own drivel and (of course) anything crafted by JLF/Civitas. Another of these new propaganda outlets is the North State Journal:

A three-judge panel has dismissed Gov. Roy Cooper's lawsuit challenging the Republican-led merger of the State Board of Elections and State Ethics Commission.

“Today the three-judge panel swiftly rejected Roy Cooper’s latest attempt to drag his political battles into the courtroom – and instead delivered a victory to North Carolina voters, who should now expect their elections and ethics laws to be enforced fairly and with bipartisan cooperation," said Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) in a joint statement sent out on Thursday evening.

"We encourage the governor to accept this result and abandon his taxpayer-funded pursuit of total control of the board responsible for regulating his own ethics and campaign finance conduct.”

In late December, lawmakers passed legislation to merge the two boards into one 8-member bipartisan board.

With caveats, the law gave the governor sole power to appoint all eight members: seeing that four are from the Republican Party and four are from the Democratic Party, and that appointees only be chosen from lists of six nominees submitted by state party chairmen.

I hate to break that news to you in this fashion, but it merely highlights the incredible bias exhibited by this faux news agency. And like Shiver's NC Capitol Connection, NSJ also has a print version (that's right, newspapers are dying on the vine, but right-wing-funded yellow journalism is alive and well). NSJ is a product of North State Media, LLC, a shadowy group which steadfastly refuses to reveal sources of its funding:

A new statewide newspaper published its first edition Sunday, led by a group of former officials in Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration.

The 26-page broadsheet North State Journal has a format similar to that of many of the state’s daily newspapers, with sections devoted to news, opinion, sports and features.

But while most other print newspapers are owned by major corporations, North State Journal isn’t disclosing the financial backers behind its parent company, North State Media LLC.

“I’m not going to talk about who our investors are,” said publisher Neal Robbins, a former legislative liaison for the state environmental agency. Robbins also wouldn’t say how much money was raised to launch the paper.

Could be Art Pope, but the connections with the McCrory administration may lead back to the same group of anonymous businessmen who threw a bunch of money into trying to prop up the former Governor. Whatever the case, this bent media effort is bound to get worse in the future, so please be careful which articles you share on Facebook and other formats. No matter what the headline says, check your damn sources before parading stuff around.

Tags: 

Comments

This took longer than I thought...

Hell, I thought it was about 9:30, but it's almost eleven. But going down that particular rabbit hole always sucks up quality-of-life time you just can't get back.

But it's Friday! :) Ehh...