A TEA Party “media outlet” under fire in Wisconsin for publishing a series of false allegations about the husband of a WI Democratic Congressman has set up shop in Montana.
The Wisconsin TEA Party group Media Trackers was founded by American Majority, a Virginia-based tea party group funded by the Koch brothers. It also receives funding from a Wisconsin conservative funder called the Bradley Foundation.
Media Trackers had some success helping the Wisconsin TEA Party with its campaign to decimate unions and promote Governor Scott Walker. So, as American Majority told Politico last year, the TEA Party is setting up groups around the country to replicate its work in Wisconsin. Media Trackers now has faux-journalism groups in the swing states of Ohio, Florida and Colorado. Montana is the group’s latest guinea pig.
If you’re wondering why haven’t heard of Media Trackers yet, its probably because the mainstream media is not exactly scrambling to pick up its stories. The group was recently caught making up a series of reports alleging that a democratic congressman’s spouse had beaten a GOP volunteer because the Congressman disliked this politics.
The TEA partiers blamed all the false stories on “a faulty source” however, as the Capital Times reported they “never addressed why the group didn’t undertake basic fact-checking before printing the far-fetched allegations.”
You won’t be surprised that the “news” put out by Media Trackers attacks progressives and Democrats while staunchly defending the right. But as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported, the group does more than putting out news with a conservative slant:
Beyond digging up political dirt, the group does political advocacy work, such as filing complaints with regulators and issuing press releases telling candidates what to do. The nonprofit also rarely talks to the subjects of its research to find out their side of a story – a basic rule of journalism that has put plenty of story ideas on ice once the full picture was known.
As the Bozeman Chronicle reported, American Majority set up a group in Bozeman around the same time that Media Trackers entered the state.