News from the Conservative Legislation Lab

This is a real thing in the world:
[Republican Indiana] Gov. Mike Pence is starting a state-run taxpayer-funded news outlet that will make pre-written news stories available to Indiana media, as well as sometimes break news about his administration, according to documents obtained by The Indianapolis Star.

Pence is planning in late February to launch "Just IN," a website and news outlet that will feature stories and news releases written by state press secretaries and is being overseen by a former Indianapolis Star reporter, Bill McCleery.

"At times, Just IN will break news — publishing information ahead of any other news outlet. Strategies for determining how and when to give priority to such 'exclusive' coverage remain under discussion," according to a question-and-answer sheet distributed last week to communications directors for state agencies.

The Pence news outlet will take stories written by state communications directors and publish them on its website. Stories will "range from straightforward news to lighter features, including personality profiles."

The endeavor will come at some taxpayer cost, but precisely how much is unclear. The news service has two dedicated employees, whose combined salary is nearly $100,000, according to a search of state employee salary data.
Emphases mine. A state-run news outlet, also known as propaganda, which will be funded by taxpayers to the tune of at least $100k, in a state where 1 out of 6 people rely on food pantries and meal service programs, because they don't have enough to eat.

This is absurd. Though, of course, not unprecedented: A decade ago, he Bush administration was sending out pre-packaged news segments for local news to air without disclosing their origins. It's a fine Republican tradition.

Gross then; gross now.

Pence says he plans to "clarify" what Just IN will be. Can't wait.

[H/T to Jordan.]

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