A pink slime has been spreading across America. At last count, it has infested more than 1,200 sites.
Pink-slime news sites, that is. The name comes from being the journalistic equivalent of the beef industry’s byproduct called pink slime, a.k.a., Lean, Finely Textured Beef, used as filler in frozen and fast foods.
Don’t be fooled by their down-home mastheads, like the Tuscaloosa Leader, Hoosier State Today, or St. Cloud Sun. Those sound like local news outlets. They’re not. They’re not even wholly human. Their articles are mostly harvested by bots, then cloned to hundreds of websites — the opposite of local reporting.