Vt. Satire Videos Pay For Views, May Be Produced Out-Of-State

Mar 19, 2018

A series of satirical videos about Vermont politics attack local political figures from a particular point of view. They claim to be by Vermonters for Vermonters but may be produced out-of-state. It’s unclear who is paying for them, and the state attorney general's office has received a complaint that they constitute illegal electioneering.

If you spend time online reading about Vermont politics, you may have encountered web videos titled News Done Right or Fan Club.

In the videos, a young woman and a man - often wearing plaid - trade cracks about figures like Senator Bernie Sanders and Mayor Miro Weinberger. The jokes are from a conservative viewpoint, ragging particularly on what seem to be liberal policies and figures, but the pair also regularly go after Vermont's Republican governor Phil Scott.

The two call themselves "James" and "Elizabeth," and claim to be in Vermont. How much of that is true is unclear, as is who pays for the videos and the website. And now, there's a complaint that the videos may constitute a form of illegal electioneering.

Reporter Taylor Dobbs of Seven Days has been following the story, and spoke to Vermont Edition.