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Want to follow the money behind political ads? Good luck finding it

Want to follow the money behind political ads? Good luck finding it

Lots of stories I cover in media make me angry. The failure of public TV to come anywhere near living up to its promise. Cable channels that let ideology drive their coverage — and then lie about it to the public.

But few leave me actually disheartened about the role media play in our lives. Covering media aspects of Baltimore mayor's race the past three months leaves me as disheartened as I can remember being about anything on my beat.

I have long been decrying the role of dark money, hidden persuaders and stealth media efforts to win votes and shape election outcomes. But I mainly thought about the problem as a national one, focusing on presidential and congressional...

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