Winston Churchill famously said, “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” And he did, publishing a six volume history of World War II, among many other works.
Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), who has never been accused of possessing any qualities remotely resembling the legendary British leader, seems intent to try to emulate him on this point, only it’s not clear he wanted the public to know.
Rep. Nunes has started his own news website called, rather unimaginatively, the California Republican. Apparently even the ’round the clock Fox News propaganda machine can’t be trusted to put out the news in a way that will be consistently kind to Devin Nunes, particularly when it comes to the Trump-Russia scandal.
The site’s Facebook page calls the carepublican.com a “media/news company” the publishes “the best of US, California, and Central Valley news, sports, and analysis,” but it’s clear the purpose of the site is to advance a glowing narrative of the Central California congressman.
Politico was the first to report, however, that the site was designed to look and feel like one of the many far right internet news sites popping up over the last couple years. But carepublica.com is, in fact, funded and operated by Rep. Nunes’ campaign committee, something noted only in very fine print buried at the bottom of the website.
Vox and others followed with their own profiles of the California Republican and its ties to the Nunes campaign, and by Sunday afternoon the site had been taken down “due to heavy traffic,” according to the site’s Facebook page.
Before it went inactive Sunday, stories on the California Republican were largely cut and paste jobs from work published on other conservative blogs and news sites of varying degrees of legitimacy. Vox noted recent headlines that include “CNN busted for peddling fake news AGAIN!,” “Understanding the process behind #ReleaseTheMemo,” and “The Russians are everywhere… and nowhere.”
Nunes has been the most high profile saboteur in congress in President Donald Trump’s ongoing wrecking ball of a plot to discredit the multiple investigations into the Trump campaign and whether they colluded with Russian intelligence to undermine the 2016 presidential election.
In a highly public and comically transparent maneuver, Nunes wrote and then engineered the release of a classified memo detailing what he deemed were abuses by the FBI to obtain a surveillance warrant on a one-time member of the Trump campaign, despite strenuous objections by the Department of Justice and Trump-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Nunes coordinated the release of the memo with the White House, and Fox News and other conservative media hyped it for weeks as a document that would force special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to be shut down. Soon after it’s release, however, it became clear that the memo’s hype was far greater than its substance, and far from proving any malpractice or partisanship by the FBI, it actually bolstered the investigation’s legitimacy.
“This is it?” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reacted moments after the White House released the memo, barely able to contain her laughter. “This is all they have?”
Other media outlets not named Fox News reacted similarly to the massive thud of nothingness the memo’s drop created. But Rep. Nunes and the carepublican.com blasted it on their front page as if it were as a big a revelation as the Pentagon Papers were in the 1970s.
Nunes still enjoys a large degree of support in his deep-red Central California district, but his Democratic opponent Andrew Janz has been gaining momentum. When asked about Rep. Nunes’ new media venture, Janz told Politico he was not impressed.
“He’s got fake memos, fake websites and fake news,” Janz said. “It’s disappointing to see a member of Congress, especially one who chairs an important committee, spread misinformation to his constituents, who he knows will just eat it up.”