Left-leaning media monitoring organization, NewsGuard, which they say rates the credibility of news sites, was awarded a massive $750,000 from the Department of Defense back in 2021, according to publicly available records. Because the federal government is very concerned about reliable news facts being objectively reported to the general public. There’s no need to worry that the obvious leftist bias of NewsGuard will in any way tilt their verdict of material covered by conservative news websites, right?
So how did we find out about this? You can thank journalist Matt Taibbi and his posting of the latest “Twitter Files” thread.
Here’s more from the good folks at Newsmax:
In a series of posts detailing internal communications among Twitter executives, Taibbi suggests a collaboration of government and the company of what appears to be a coordinated effort to censor or slant information available to the public and individuals — particularly conservatives.
Two U.S. agencies he identified included the State Department’s Global Engagement Center and the Department of Defense. Taibbi was concerned about the government grants to an organization that targets news outlets, writing, “Some NGOs (non-governmental organizations), like the GEC-funded Global Disinformation Index or the DOD-funded Newsguard, not only seek content moderation but apply subjective ‘risk’ or ‘reliability’ scores to media outlets, which can result in reduction in revenue.”
He then stated, “Do we want government in this role?”
Government records show a purchase order from the Department of Defense amounting to $749,387 with the recipient listed as NewsGuard Technologies Inc. Also listed: a start date of Sept. 7, 2021, and an end date of Dec. 8, 2022. The company’s ratings have been used by advertising agencies such as Publics Group and Magnite, as well as the Pentagon and the American Federation of Teachers.
NewsGuard, officially a non-profit organization, was originally founded by Steve Brill, a media entrepreneur who has a lengthy career as a prolific supporter of the Democratic Party, having made serious contribution to former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, along with Sen. Chuck Schumer.
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The guys and gals over at the Media Research Center have taken a deep look at the “ratings” system used by NewsGuard and have found the service favors left-wing and liberal news outlets as being “trusted,” while assigning negative ratings to conservative ones.
“Newsguard negatively rates leading conservative outlets like Washington Times, Newsmax, Breitbart, Federalist, Epoch Times, Red State, Prager U, Daily Wire, and others.Last week, Florida’s CFO, Jimmy Patronis, wrote to Newsguard saying the company’s actions are in line with the ‘environmental, social, and governance’ (ESG) standards used by liberal organizations to blacklist groups that dissent from their views,” Newsmax reported.
“Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., who chairs the Republican Study Committee, questioned NewsGuard’s neutrality in a letter sent to the AFT last year saying, ‘the organization regularly gave high marks to obviously progressive and left leaning outlets such as Occupy Democrats, The Nation, and Jacobin, which have published articles promoting progressive views on matters such as riots and property destruction and socialism,'” the report continued.
“These are hardly unbiased entities, and any rating system that ranks them as such deserves our scrutiny. To make matters worse, NewsGuard has even ranked several Chinese state-run media outlets higher — that is, more trustworthy/truthful — than popular conservative U.S. news sources,” he added.
Of course, NewsGuard came out in defense of the contract, stating it was not “government funded.” Yeah. Right.
“NewsGuard has been inaccurately described as a ‘U.S. government funded’ entity — which is like saying Verizon is government-funded because some government agencies pay for its phone services,” company spokesman Matt Skibinski explained in an email.
“NewsGuard is a for-profit business. We sell licenses to clients to access our data about misinformation and disinformation sources and narratives. While most of our licensees are in the private sector, some government entities license our data about state-sponsored disinformation campaigns targeting Western democracies from places like China, Venezuela, and Russia. We are proud that our data is useful in countering Chinese and Russian disinformation on behalf of Western democracies,” Skibinski pointed out.