It’s on Drudge’s page, sharing space with news about another monster storm threatening citizens on the East Coast.

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~~~ Targeting reporters ~~~ like they’ve been targeting us?

Scoop: Trump allies raise money to target reporters

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Trump’s political allies are trying to raise at least $2 million to investigate reporters and editors of The New York Times, The Washington Post and other outlets, according to a three-page fundraising pitch reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: Trump’s war on the media is expanding. This group will target reporters and editors, while other GOP 2020 entities go after the social media platforms, alleging bias, officials tell us.

  • The group claims it will slip damaging information about reporters and editors to “friendly media outlets,” such as Breitbart, and traditional media, if possible.
  • People involved in raising the funds include GOP consultant Arthur Schwartz and the “loose network” that the N.Y. Times reported last week is targeting journalists. The operations are to be run by undisclosed others.
  • The prospectus for the new project says it’s “targeting the people producing the news.”

The irony: The New York Times exposed an extremely improvisational effort that had outed a Times editor for past anti-Semitic tweets. This new group is now using the exposure to try to formalize and fund the operation.

  • Organizers joke that their slogan should be: “Brought to you by The New York Times.”

Under “Primary Targets,” the pitch lists:

  • “CNN, MSNBC, all broadcast networks, NY Times, Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and all others that routinely incorporate bias and misinformation in to their coverage. We will also track the reporters and editors of these organizations.”

This isn’t an entirely new concept. The liberal group Media Matters monitors journalists and publications, and goes public with complaints of bias. But being this blatant and specific about trying to discredit individual reporters is new.

Go deeper: Trump allies plot new war on social media 

 

~~~ Here’s the “Go deeper” version of it. ~~~

 

Trump allies plot new war on social media

Trump illustration
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Trump’s campaign and key allies plan to make allegations of bias by social media platforms a core part of their 2020 strategy, officials tell Axios.

The big picture: Look for ads, speeches and sustained attacks on Facebook and Twitter in particular, the sources say. The irony: The social platforms are created and staffed largely by liberals — but often used most effectively in politics by conservatives, the data shows.

Why it matters: Trump successfully turned the vast majority of his supporters against traditional media, and he hopes to do the same against the social media companies.

  • Republicans’ internal data shows it stirs up the base like few other topics.
  • “In the same way we’ve seen trust in legacy media organizations deteriorate over the past year, there are similarities with social media companies,” a top Republican operative involved in the effort told me.

Between the lines: The charges of overt bias by social media platforms are way overblown, several studies have found. But, if the exaggerated claims stick, it could increase the chances of regulatory action by Republicans.

  • “People feel they’re being manipulated, whether it’s by what they’re being shown in their feeds or actions the companies have taken against conservatives,” the operative said.
  • “It’s easy for people to understand how these giant corporations could influence them and direct them toward a certain favored candidate.”

How tech execs see it: They know the escalation is coming, so they are cranking up outreach to leading conservatives and trying to push hard on data showing that conservative voices often outperform liberal ones.

Reality check, from Axios chief tech correspondent Ina Fried: What is real is that most of the platforms have policies against bias that some conservative figures have run afoul of.

  • Managing editor Scott Rosenberg notes that Twitter is Trump’s megaphone, while Facebook is often his favorite place to run ads.

What’s next: By the time 2020 is over, trust in all sources of information will be low, and perhaps unrecoverable.

  • A nation without shared truth will be hard-to-impossible to govern.

https://www.axios.com/trump-2020-campaign-social-media-bias-41bbed1e-0bd3-445d-bf6f-195b5c3e65a6.html

~~~ Did you catch that? ~~~

A nation without shared truth will be hard-to-impossible to govern.

They’ve inadvertently TOLD the truth, for once.