Santa Cruz Sentinel, the biggest local newspaper in Santa Cruz County, found a creative way to push propaganda to their subscribers without anyone else noticing. Their daily headlines email blast now includes references to articles that don't exist on their website, with headlines and blurbs that consistently and openly push latest pro-Republican false narratives.

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I spotted the pattern last week when I went to their site to check a headline that looked suspicious to me. After finding to my surprise that the article doesn't exist, I first thought that this was work of some rogue editor and sent an email asking for an explanation to Sentinel's Managing Editor Melissa Murphy and Circulation/Marketing Manager Mardi Browning.

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You'd think a local newspaper in a county of just over 270,000 people wouldn't be overwhelmed with subscriber mail, but they never got back to me. Instead, I received my answer in the next batch of email blasts, where the Sentinel moved on from scaring people with a "crisis at the border" to advertising the ongoing GOP attempt to recall Gavin Newsom, once again with no real article to back it up.

Fact check: The "surge" at the U.S. southern border is a seasonal bump plus some people who held back last year due to COVID (washingtonpost.com/politics/20). Newsom is very popular governor who in 2018 won more votes (61.9%) than his predecessor Jerry Brown (56.3% in 2006, 53.8% in 2010, 60% in 2014), and who saved tens of thousands of lives by handling the pandemic much better than most other states did (146 COVID deaths per 100k in CA vs 166 national average, 256 in NY, 235 in MS).

Judd Legum's Popular Information offers a more in-depth analysis of the facts and the media circus around the U.S. southern border: popular.info/p/media-crisis-bo

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