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Mayor Keith Pekau Used Fake News Websites to Control the Narrative, Ensuring Favorable Coverage, Publishing Over 70 Stories Since 2017



By Illinois Review

Since 2017, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau has used a political propaganda website masquerading as legitimate news publications, to control the narrative and ensure positive media coverage – publishing over 70 stories dating back to his 2017 campaign for mayor – and most recently, his failed bid for Congress.

In a Tuesday column written by the Chicago Tribune editorial board, this online portal allows elected officials, candidates and their campaigns to submit stories exactly as they want them published – including op-eds, without any fact checking – ensuring, as the Tribune highlighted, “that the finished ‘article’ was about as objective and probing as a campaign flyer.”

In a legitimate publication, there would be fact checking, verification of original content to avoid plagiarism, and a legal review, before anything is published.

The “websites” also include local political writers like W.J. Kennedy, Sam Jackson, Angelica Saylo Pilo, Solange Delisle, Bree Gonzales and Corazon L. Gonzales – authors that don’t appear to be real people and do not show up on any other online searches besides the “news publications.”

Kristine Gonzales-Abella appears to be a real person, but lives in the Philippines.

William Kennedy is a 95-year old writer who won the Pulitzer in 1984 for his novel, Ironweed.

And Samuel L. Jackson is a famous actor.

In an article published in South Cook News just two days after the primary election titled, “Pekau: I’m ready to show Republicans they made the right choice in nominating me,” the glowing piece praises Pekau on his victory and discusses how he wants to make abortions “rare.”

Missing from the article? Anything critical of Pekau.

In another article titled, “Pekau on lowering property taxes: ‘Just because Gary Grasso couldn’t get it done, doesn’t mean it isn’t possible,” Pekau levels a direct attack against his Republican primary opponent and Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso, as the article praises Pekau and rattles off his accomplishments as mayor of Orland Park.

Missing from the article? Anything critical of Pekau.

The publication also publishes Pekau’s “Mayor Update,” where he mixes his official mayoral work, and his local and federal campaigns in a single article – discussing the latest board meeting, and then giving an update on his congressional campaign, before ending the article to promote a local fundraiser for fellow Orland Park Village Trustee Cindy Katsenes.

Missing from the article? Anything critical of Pekau.

It’s no wonder Pekau has enjoyed positive “news” coverage over the last several years – he was controlling the narrative and submitting the stories from behind the scenes to make sure he was viewed in the best possible way.

That’s not news – it’s political propaganda.

And it sounds eerily similar to what Vladamir Putin does in Russia.


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