‘Fake News Alert': Maine GOP Trashes News Reports

The Maine Republican Party is launching a new effort to flag what they call "fake news" in Maine media.

The Maine GOP Facebook page now livestreams "Fake News Alerts," hosted by Executive Director Jason Savage, who highlights coverage he feels is inaccurate, lacking important facts, or "fake."

"What we're looking for is — is it factually accurate, is it true to the events that occurred?" Savage said. "Or is it presented in a way that it does not present the truth?"

The new GOP website also includes a feature to fill out a media monitoring form to help call attention to particular stories.

"We think that kind of accountability is good," said Savage.

The GOP is also posting a video segment on its website called "News You Can Trust," which features party officials discussing current events.

"We know we're not reporters," Savage says in the video, "but we're telling you the truth."

Media professor at Colby College Dan Shea said it's "healthy for democracy" to have political parties sharing their ideas — and doesn't see this practice by the Maine GOP as a departure from typical party strategy.

"I think a lot of what's happening in Maine is happening around the country," Shea said, seeing similarities between the Maine GOP and Donald Trump's approach to the media and "fake news."

Shea does worry about the long-term effects of a hyper-partisan culture, where consumers tend to read and only trust media reports that fit their world-view.

"If Americans have less faith in the media, in objective reporting, then we're in trouble," said Shea. "Everything is up for debate."

On Wednesday's "Fake News Alert" livestream, the Maine GOP took issue with a report by the Portland Press Herald. Editor Steve Greenlee said the Republican Party never contacted them to ask for a correction to the story, and he stands by his reporter's work.

Greenlee said the GOP is "misappropriating" the term "fake news" to mean any story they dislike or disagree with.

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