IL-14: Lauren Underwood on Healthcare for Moms and Babies

Lauren Underwood

Portend of things to come and possibly something to help Republican primary voters decide their choice for Congress — seeing what the Republican nominee will face in the fall

Congresswoman Lauren Underwood had a video released on her behalf by a group that on the surface looks like a respectable local news group called Courier Newsroom:

So who is Courier Newsroom?

Readers of McHenry County Blog has seen this group referenced in the past, back on November 30 in this article, among others.

That was when this early November article on Underwood was cited:

Courier Newsroom has published other pro-Underwood articles in the past, but at the time, the Newsroom was just seen as one of many online publications.

Then about two weeks ago on the opinion page of The Washington Post, the truth about Courier Newsroom was revealed by the Washington correspondent for NewsGuard.

From the piece in the Post:

“A news organization investing in local journalism seems like a welcome development, right?

“Maybe not.

“In reality, Courier Newsroom is a clandestine political operation, publishing, among other things, positive stories about moderate Democrats who face difficult reelections in November.

“Courier’s main backer is Acronym, a liberal dark-money group that has invested heavily in Democratic digital advertising and campaign technology — including Shadow Inc., the tech company behind the app that was supposed to report the results of Monday’s Iowa caucuses. Its failed app aside, Acronym has already laid the groundwork to have an outsize impact on the 2020 elections.

“Through a $25 million investment in Courier and affiliated sites in six battleground states, Acronym aims to reshape the digital media ecosystem by taking advantage of Americans’ trust in local journalism.

“Unlike some sources of partisan disinformation, Courier stories are generally fact-based. Courier discloses its connection to Acronym but provides no information about the group or its donors, who remain anonymous due to Acronym’s nonprofit status. Because it obscures its funders and agenda, Courier’s “news” operation leads to the same result as conspiracy theories or outright lies:

“Readers are deceived.”

“A website wanted to restore trust in the media. It’s actually a political operation.”
By Gabby Deutsch, NewsGuard, published in The Washington Post 2/6/20

This does really have to cause readers to shake their heads.

And is one of many reasons why the work Cal Skinner does here on McHenry County Blog really needs to be appreciated, given without Cal’s leadership, local sites like Courier Newsroom will pop up and take the blog’s place.

When the opinion piece was published in The Washington Post two weeks ago, Congresswoman Underwood was highlighted, per this excerpt:

“This faux news site [Courier Newsroom] has a strategic niche: pumping up moderate Democrats elected to Congress in 2018 in Republican-leaning districts.

“NewsGuard — a nonpartisan organization where I work that reviews the credibility of hundreds of news sites — found more than 30 stories published in the site’s brief existence that covered these Democrats in a positive light. We could identify no similar articles published about congressional Republicans.

“High-profile liberal Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) are rarely covered by Courier and the site has devoted practically no attention to the Democratic presidential contest.

“You will find very little on divisive topics like race, abortion and immigration.

“Courier instead focuses on issues championed by moderate Democrats in swing districts: assisting farmers, lowering drug prices and supporting veterans. ‘Rep. Lauren Underwood defying legislative expectations for a freshman,’ reads a typical headline, which accompanied a story touting the accomplishments of the Illinois congresswoman on issues including suicide prevention.

“Underwood tweeted the story, garnering a combined 2,000 likes and retweets.”

“A website wanted to restore trust in the media. It’s actually a political operation.”
By Gabby Deutsch, NewsGuard, published in The Washington Post 2/6/20

Freedom is worth fighting for, and may all voters be armed with this discernment concerning liberal dark money groups and know who is behind Courier Newsroom.

External links to The Washington Post:


IL-14: Lauren Underwood on Healthcare for Moms and Babies — 11 Comments

  1. I’m cool if you criticize this… as long as you also criticize websites like McHenry Times and the other Dan Proft “newspapers” too.

    I want both sides of this to go away.


    Lying and deception is the way of the DEMOCRATS.

    Further, we don’t care if you’re “cool” with anything we criticize.

  3. The only one to take Lauren Underwood on is Catalina Lauf of the Republican IL 14 field — who is the only one that is able to make it to the national stage.

    She was on Sean Hannity on Fox News last night and did a fabulous job.

    John where is your reporting of that? Report the truth, or sit down.

  4. Alabama, I personally, do my best to stay away from any of the Local Government Information Services (LGIS) publications from Dan Proft unless there is no other sourcing for an article being published.

    I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve used LGIS, and I usually cite the source as “LGIS”.

    Glad you liked me going after Courier Newsroom and the people at NewsGuard deserve credit too for doing the research and the legwork to ID these people, expose them through The Washington Post and point specifically to the liberal dark money group funding it.

    The fact Courier is now publishing video favorable to Underwood added to the import of people knowing who they are.

    I have noticed Underwood has curtailed her use of Courier since this broke in The Washington Post two weeks ago.

    She did use their insulin story from last month in a tweet on Super Bowl Sunday hyping the insulin legislation passed late last year, H.R. 5444 via H.R. 1865, but the Courier story only tells one part of the story, and not the Trump Administration’s part in lowering insulin prices.

  5. Ms. JenSmith,

    Nice try, and I did view the Dan Bognino interview of the 3-person panelist of whom Catalina Lauf was one of them on Hannity last night.

    We are trying to obtain a better copy of the video from last night, as the live-stream recording had issues during Lauf’s 1 minute plus talk time.

    We are aware of what Lauf’s campaign has been up to, and I hope to witness some of it first hand later today.

    You’ll see a story this weekend.

    Unfortunately, Lauf’s campaign has done nothing meriting additional coverage, as in no mailer or TV commercial.

    Only the Hannity Hour less than 5 minutes appearance and just over a minute of talk time is what I’ve seen out of Lauf.

    We’ll see if my source is accurate for today’s public event.

    No worries, it’ll be covered, all aspects will be covered, including some other things Lauf’s campaign has been attempting to do.

    And as for who is best qualified to take on Lauren Underwood?

    That’s up to Republican primary voters, and right now, Lauf is competing for 4th place, behind Jim Oberweis, Sue Rezin and Ted Gradel, as empirical data I’ve seen, and have cited in yesterday’s articles proves.

  6. As I’ve said before, this blog is doomed under coming hate-speech laws.

    I will dance a jig when it’s closed down.

    You simply can’t broadcast lies and fake narratives.

    Is this Blog part of a Russian disinformation campaign to divide Americans.

    Who’s funding this trash?

    Cal is way too cheap to do it.

  7. All right UnderwoodNow.

    The left gets busted that they ran a blog for 3 months & they were outed in the Washington Post.

    There is no hate here, only what is coming from the Left.

  8. **The left gets busted that they ran a blog for 3 months & they were outed in the Washington Post.**

    Again, this blog has said absolutely nothing about the fake news sites run by Proft, so please get off your high horse.

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