Posted by on May 12, 2022 6:09 pm
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Congressman calls out government for scheming with leftists on ‘disinformation’

Biden disinformation czar Nina Jankowicz in a November 2021 hearing before the British Parliament. (Video screenshot)

It was only a few weeks ago that constitutional expert and legal commentator Jonathan Turley warned again subjecting children in America’s schools to the left-leaning bias of “fact-checkers” like NewsGuard.

He warned that “raises the specter of a type of de facto state media.”

Well, now that “de facto state media” has arrived, as the Defense Department has, in fact, launched a program to work with that very same NewsGuard on a “disinformation” effort.

It is BizPacReview that is reporting Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., of the House Armed Services Committee, put U.S. Cyber Command on notice with a letter telling the agency to preserve all its documents pertaining to the DoD’s contract with the special interest so-called “fact-checker.”

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The report explained, “The $750,000 contract was awarded to the Pentagon’s ‘Misinformation Fingerprints’ project in April, according to Breitbart. That project is described as a ‘catalog of known hoaxes, falsehoods and misinformation narratives that are spreading online’ which seems to dovetail with the Department of Homeland Security setting up a ‘Disinformation Governance Board.'”

The problem with such special interest – and even government – conversations about “disinformation” is that multiple times what has been ruled “disinformation” turned out to be true.

For instance, President Trump’s charges that the Democrats’ claims of his campaign’s “Russia collusion” now are known to have been accurate – that the Democrats simply fabricated a lot of salacious allegations against him and used them as evidence to the FBI.

Special counsel John Durham right now is investigating whether there was any criminality in those Democrat operations.

Further, what many “fact-checkers” claimed was “Russian disinformation,” the reports of those lucrative and unique Biden family international business schemes revealed by an abandoned laptop, have turned out now to be true.

The report explains Banks wrote to Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, chief of U.S. Cyber Command, charging that the Pentagon was using taxpayer money to try to “squelch political speech.”

“He also took exception to NewsGuard’s perceived partisan bias, writing, ‘Restoring political neutrality to the Department of Defense will remain a priority for me during the 118th Congress,'” the report said.

The letter cites the $749,387 federal payment to NewsGuard for the company’s “Misinformation Fingerprints” program.

“U.S. Cyber Command has used Misinformation Fingerprints to ‘monitor content containing state-sponsored mis- and disinformation and to identify the main sources publishing known false narratives.’ NewsGuard describes its Misinformation Fingerprints program as: ‘a catalogue of known hoaxes… The dataset for each narrative includes a description of each hoax and why it is false, examples of stories, social media posts, videos, and other content containing the hoax, and related keywords and hashtags.’ Basically, the Misinformation Fingerprints program allows A.I. and machine learning software to monitor and suppress stories and media outlets that NewsGuard has decided are false and unreliable,” Banks wrote.

But he pointed out that NewGuard’s results are infected with “an extreme partisan bias.”

BPR reported, “NewsGuard’s co-CEO, Steve Brill, claimed there’s ‘a high likelihood that this [Hunter Biden laptop] story is a hoax, maybe even a hoax perpetrated by the Russians.’ NPR and the New York Times both received a 100/100 credibility rating from NewsGuard, after dismissing the New York Post’s verified reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop. According to reporting from the Washington Free Beacon, NewsGuard’s staff overwhelmingly supports the Democrat Party: ‘Twenty NewsGuard executives and advisers have contributed to Democratic candidates since 2015, with only six giving to Republicans.'”

Banks described that as no more or less than “financial support for the partisan suppression of political speech” and said it “is an unacceptable and un-American abuse of taxpayer dollars.”

WND reported that Turley’s conclusions about NewsGuard came when the company was found to be working with the American Federation of Teachers to install its own bias in school classrooms across the nation.

He wrote, “The ‘misinformation’ label has been used extensively by liberal media to kill stories like the Hunter Biden laptop stories as unreliable. Indeed, Brill is under fire for being one of the voices falsely claiming that the Hunter Biden laptop was likely false Russian disinformation. His company will now put ‘traffic lights’ on information for children on what sources they rely upon,” Turley wrote.

Turley also noted Randi Weingarten, the union’s chief, “has declared using Brill’s NewsGuard will be a ‘game changer’ in preventing students from being ‘misled’ by news sources. It may well be. It would allow the AFT and school districts to teach students to distrust certain news sources like Fox News, which is given a lower rating by NewsGuard. (For full disclosure, I appear on Fox as a legal analyst).”

He continued, “”Conservative and independent sites continue to bedevil many on the left. The laptop story shows how advocacy journalism is now the norm in many newsrooms. Viewers and readers were told by most media figures, including Brill, that the story was likely Russian propaganda and untrue.

“The unsupported hoax claim (which contradicted readily available authenticating evidence at the time) raises the specter of a type of de facto state media. The problem is that such an echo chamber is only fully successful if there is no alternative source of information. Yet, Fox and New York Post continued to cover the story as did some of us as columnists.”

Turley noted that the media campaign to block the laptop revelations, happening just before the 2020 election, “worked.”

“The Biden family had long been accused of special dealing and influence peddling. The emails were potentially devastating with references to millions from foreign sources, including shady Chinese, Russian, and Ukrainian interests while Joe Biden was vice president. The media actively participated in shielding the Bidens from the scandal,” he said.

A study from the Media Research Center later confirmed that that suppression of accurate, and negative, information about the Biden family’s international operations allowed Joe Biden to win the 2020 election.

WND also reported just weeks earlier that dozens of publications and media organizations had written a letter warning governors across the United States about the left-wing bias of NewsGuard, in light of its agenda to push its ideology to children through the teachers’ union.

The letter was signed jointly by Media Research Center founder and President Brent Bozell and dozens of other free speech advocates.

They warned, according to an announcement about the campaign, about “both on NewsGuard’s leftist bias and the ratings firm’s dangerous and growing influence in the educational arena.”

MRC found, problematically, that NewsGuard was biased “in favor of leftist news outlets. NewsGuard even rated several Communist Chinese state-run media outlets higher than several American outlets and pro-life U.S. websites. The ratings firm also claims to help identify ‘misinformation,’ but its biases show it isn’t objective,” the report said.

At the MRC’s NewsBusters platform, a report explained governors were warned:

“NewsGuard, a so-called online ‘credibility’ arbiter, is threatening the quality and integrity of the education system in your state. And in every state. NewsGuard has recently partnered with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to censor points of view they disagree with in the classroom. Specifically, NewsGuard is actively working with the AFT to bring its agenda-driven rating system to classrooms across the country. Why? To stymie students from partaking in an open exploration of news and views from across the political spectrum.”

The letter described NewsGuard as a “one-sided, leftist organization dedicated to silencing conservative voices and other viewpoints it disagrees with.”

An MRC study, in fact, found “that outlets rated ‘left’ or ‘lean left’ by AllSides received an average NewsGuard score of 93/100. Sites considered ‘right’ or ‘lean right’ by AllSides had an average NewsGuard rating of 66/100.”

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