Fake candidate websites are so winter 2014. If you’re looking for a hip new way to covertly attack political opponents, try creating fake news articles constructed to mislead voters. It’s like The Onion, but for people who have never heard of The Onion.
The National Journal reports that the National Republican Campaign Committee has introduced more than 20 standalone websites designed to look like local-news hubs. But instead of serving up impartial articles, the stories devolve into one-sided criticism of democratic candidates. The sites, like this one made to attack California congressional hopeful Amanda Renteria, are being promoted using Google ads, which means they pop up when curious voters Google local candidates. Though definitely sneaky, the National Journal says the sites don’t appear to break campaign-finance laws.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Josh Schwerin called the strategy “deception,” but the RNCC already had a comeback prepared for that one.
“They’re just jealous that they didn’t think of this strategy first,” replied RNCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek.
Say what you will about the NRCC, but one thing’s for sure: They know their haters keep them relevant.