Insect-Sized Scoop: Miami Herald Hypes DeSantis Renting a List from The Babylon Bee

April 6th, 2022 3:44 PM

First the "objective" newspapers wage war on Republicans. Then when Republicans call them "fake news," they write nasty articles about being called "fake news." For example, the Miami Herald posted an article headlined:

DeSantis calls out ‘fake news,’ but his campaign used fake news site to raise cash

Reporter Ben Wieder began his insect-sized scoop: 

In messages to supporters, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t shy about labeling “fake news media” the enemy. But when it comes to raising money for his reelection bid, the Republican governor’s campaign and an associated political committee have sought help from a satire website with the tagline “Fake news you can trust.”

The governor’s campaign committee as well as the associated Friends of Ron DeSantis political action committee paid the conservative-leaning satire website The Babylon Bee a combined $15,000 last year for services related to online fundraising, according to state campaign finance records.

This is a data point, but a pretty unremarkable data point, as the reporter admits: 

The practice is typically referred to as renting a list and parent companies of the conservative news sites the Daily Wire, co-founded by Ben Shapiro, and the Daily Caller, co-founded by Tucker Carlson, as well as the liberal news site Daily Kos, founded by Markos Moulitsas, were among the top 100 beneficiaries of campaign cash connected to list rentals during the last political cycle, according to Open Secrets. 

The DeSantis committees paid more than $38,000 to Daily Wire, LLC and $7,500 to Blaze Media, LLC, associated with Glenn Beck, this year and last.

But the two DeSantis committees are the only political committees in Florida who have paid The Babylon Bee, which is based in Jupiter, for fundraising help, according to Florida campaign finance records. The expenses were coded as “LIST RENTAL” and “EMAIL SERVICES.” No federal political committee has paid the website, either, according to federal campaign finance data.

The article ended with a quote from Sheila Krumholz at the campaign-finance site Open Secrets. “A satire site sounds like a creative way to reach people that might be reachable and not necessarily in your choir,” she said.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air summed it up precisely: