President Donald Trump
Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

The “loose network of conservative operatives” collecting damaging information on journalists who criticize President Donald Trump are now reportedly raising $2 million to help them better look through old tweets, probably.

According to Axios, a three-page fundraising pitch for the effort, previously reported on by the New York Times, shows that allies of Trump are looking to raise $2 million in order to investigate news outlets, reporters, and editors. Last month, the Times reported on this effort, involving the collection of damaging personal information on journalists and their families as an effort to discredit news organizations and their employees, continuing Trump’s personal attacks on the press as the “enemy of the people.”

Advertisement

The fundraising pitch says that GOP consultant Arthur Schwartz, a friend of Donald Trump Jr. and colleague of Steve Bannon, is involved in fundraising efforts, as well as the aforementioned “loose network” of operatives. The pitch claims the anti-journalist group will be run by undisclosed others, who will attempt to pass on information discovered about reporters and editors to “friendly media outlets” such as Breitbart, and traditional media outlets themselves.

Primary targets of this effort include “CNN, MSNBC, all broadcast networks, NY Times, Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and all others that routinely incorporate bias and misinformation in to their coverage.” According to the Times’s previous report, this group is already working and has attacked journalists at CNN, the Times, and the Washington Post.

More specifically, as Axios pointed out, was an effort involving Times editor Tom Wright-Piersanti, which was reported by the Times itself in its coverage of the Trump allies’ operation:

The irony: The New York Times exposed an extremely improvisational effort that had outed a Times editor for past anti-Semitic tweets. This new group is now using the exposure to try to formalize and fund the operation.

- Organizers joke that their slogan should be: “Brought to you by The New York Times.”

Advertisement

Time to look forward to some well-intentioned, good-faith media criticism from this group, and definitely not an orchestrated effort to smear anyone who covers Trump’s campaign misdeeds for anything they’ve ever said that could be remotely construed as a criticism of Trump and the Republican Party.