Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has spent more than $100,000 on “fake news” Facebook advertisements to sow disinformation about his Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin, according to Fox News.
The advertisements, which have been viewed millions of times, appear to be from a local news website. They even link to third-party websites designed to look like they are local news outlets. But the advertisements and websites are really just an extension of Democratic campaign websites that exist to promote Democratic candidates, such as McAuliffe.
One page, for example, called “The Download Virginia,” was quietly launched by McAuliffe in June. The name of the page sounds like it would be a news organization, but it only posts advertisements for McAuliffe. The McAuliffe had has spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads distributed by this page since June, Fox News found.
Another website McAuliffe has been promoting is “The Dogwood,” which claims to be a newsletter to give Virginians “all the news you need” from “credible, fact-based reporting.”
However, a closer look at “The Dogwood’s” website reveals it is operated and owned by Courier Newsroom, which itself was founded and initially funded by a George Soros-run liberal dark money group, ACRONYM.
Ethics experts have blasted this campaign tactic as political disinformation. The Washington Post even admitted Courier Newsroom was creating “hyperlocal partisan propaganda.” And OpenSecrets labeled both websites as “fake news.”
Youngkin’s campaign blasted McAuliffe, but noted this is a “standard” practice for the Democrat.
“Disinformation practices are standard for McAuliffe, whose lies go into overdrive when he’s desperate,” Youngkin said. “Not a single left-wing propaganda arm disguised as a news organization will turn the tide” for McAuliffe, he added.