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Watch Out Fox News! Indiana is Starting It’s Own Propaganda Network

No doubt the propagandists at Fox News will be shaking in their boots when they read this: the State of Indiana, under the watchful eye of Governor Mike Pence, has announced that it will start a government-run news agency using taxpayer money.

The website, which will be launched in February, will be called “Just IN” and will offer pre-written pieces to small news agencies. It will also (surprise!) offer breaking stories about Governor Pence and his administration. Pence is considered a possible contender for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination.

News from “Just IN” will be written by press secretaries employed by the state and will feature stories:

“(which) range from straightforward news to lighter features, including personality profiles.”

The as-yet-unanswered question about “Just IN” is whether or not it will be used to circumvent the press altogether. Jack Ronald, publisher of the Portland Commercial Review, said:

“I think it’s a ludicrous idea. I have no problem with public information services — the Purdue University agriculture extension service does a great job. But the notion of elected officials presenting material that will inevitably have a pro-administration point of view is antithetical to the idea of an independent press.”

And then there is the hypocrisy of a “small government” Republican such as Pence using at least $100,000 of taxpayer funds to bolster his own image among the press. Had a similar news site been started by a Democratic governor in a state such as New York or California, can you imagine the howling that would have taken place among talking head right-wingers such as Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity?

For his part, Pence has largely avoided the growing controversy over “Just IN” but did Tweet out the following message Monday evening:

“This is State of IN’s calendar for press releases: http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/mobile/mobilelist.aspx . The website will offer the same service with a new look.”

One wonders if we should all be amused or horrified by Pence’s attempts to play a benevolent Big Brother in a conservative suit and rep tie.

This article was previously published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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