Study Finds NewsGuard Overtly Biased Against Conservatives

Study Finds NewsGuard Overtly Biased Against Conservatives

In a study published Tuesday, Media Research Center (MRC) Free Speech America found that NewsGuard, the taxpayer censorship giant self-tasked with rating media outlets on reliability, “overwhelmingly favored left-leaning outlets over right-leaning ones.” This is the third year MRC Free Speech America has exposed NewsGuard for its partisanship, and, according to MRC, NewsGuard has become “even worse” than years prior.

Using AllSides, an organization that classifies media outlets by their “right” to “left” bias, “MRC researchers determined that NewsGuard provided a stellar average ‘credibility’ rating of 91/100 for ‘left’ and ‘lean left’ outlets (e.g., The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Vox),” wrote MRC researchers. Meanwhile, “right” and “lean right” outlets, such as Fox News, the New York Post, and The Daily Wire, were given “an outrageously abysmal average score of 65/100.” 

“NewsGuard’s rating for right-leaning outlets in particular was worse than the still-low 66/100 average rating it slapped on right-leaning media across the prior two MRC studies released Jan. 6, 2023 and Dec. 13, 2021,” MRC noted.

The Double Standard

One of the strongest examples of NewsGuard’s brazen bias is how it excused legacy media outlets’ false labeling of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story as “Russian disinformation” back in 2020.

The Washington Post, USA Today, and Politico — all outlets that discredited the story — were given “flawless 100/100 scores.” The seriousness of what these legacy media organizations did cannot be understated. As MRC noted, polling indicates that suppression of the laptop story played a deciding role in the 2020 election.

According to MRC, NewsGuard’s decision to ignore the discrediting of the laptop story isn’t surprising, given that NewsGuard itself contributed to its suppression. Indeed, “NewsGuard co-CEO Steven Brill joined CNBC just before the 2020 election to castigate the Hunter Biden laptop story as a probable Russian ‘hoax,’” MRC wrote in its report.

While outlets that engaged in journalistic malpractice and election interference are given gold stars, NewsGuard severely punishes conservative outlets like The Federalist. NewsGaurd gives The Federalist a failing 12.5/100 score. “After roughly two years,” wrote MRC, “NewsGuard is still criticizing The Federalist’s questioning of the efficacy of masks for COVID-19.” At the same time, liberal CNBC, which has a “95” NewsGuard rating, “cited a study showing that cloth masks were only 37 percent effective at filtering out virus particles,” wrote MRC.

In another example of NewsGuard’s double standard, the organization gave Not the Bee a 62.5/100 score “in part because it supposedly ‘does not disclose that the site advances a conservative perspective that is apparent in its content,’” MRC reported. “This is grossly hypocritical in light of NewsGuard’s perfect scores for blatantly liberal outlets like the explicitly left-wing New York Times,” MRC pointed out.

The New York Times maintains its 100-year-old pledge to “give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.” This is the same New York Times that “tried to spin the political mayhem surrounding Biden’s bribery scandal to make the president seem like a martyr and a helpless victim of paternal instincts to shield him from the fallout,” wrote MRC researchers.

NewsGuard also gave pro-life news outlets Life News and Live Action 17.5/100 scores while giving Planned Parenthood a “generally credible” score of 75/100. As MRC noted, Planned Parenthood “is notorious for repeatedly portraying itself as a medical care enterprise that just happens to also perform abortions.”

Annihilating Conservative Outlets 

NewsGuard doesn’t exist to inform regular Americans about media credibility; it exists to annihilate conservative outlets by scaring off advertisers to prevent them from generating revenue.

“NewsGuard wields its ratings as a cudgel, attempting to scare away advertisers from doing business with media and organizations that have been accused of promoting so-called ‘misinformation’ or wrongthink on a whole host of issues like abortion, climate change, COVID-19 and elections,” explained MRC. “In so doing, NewsGuard effectively strips media outlets with which it disagrees of their ad money, slowly bleeding out their coffers.”

As MRC demonstrates, NewsGuard is a political arm of the left, yet it receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from Biden’s Department of Defense. “This is the same Biden administration that tried to erect a radical Disinformation Governance Board tied to leftist billionaire George Soros to collaborate with Big Tech companies to target Americans’ speech on social media platforms,” wrote MRC.

News Guard also received funding from Big Pharma. “The financing came in the form of a funders consortium that included the consulting outfit Publicis Groupe,” reported MRC. “The Publicis Groupe happens to represent Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant that has been at the center of the debate on the efficacy of vaccines against COVID-19. NewsGuard has a documented history of guarding the Big Pharma and government narrative on COVID-19 writ large, which in retrospect appears to be a major conflict of interest.”

Calling On Congress 

MRC is calling on Congress to cease illegally funding an organization that is actively destroying free speech in the U.S. in its pursuit to shut down conservative outlets.

“Our federal government never should have spent time and taxpayer money on censoring conservatives,” members of the Free Speech Alliance wrote in the open letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA). “That which government is constitutionally prohibited from doing, it cannot contract with others to do.”

The government’s support of NewsGuard is nothing short of unconstitutional. “It is fundamental to living in a free and fair society that agencies of the federal government may not endorse the products and services of private companies they favor,” MRC wrote. “Nor may they weaponize national power against companies that officials have decided they dislike, absent duly enacted statutes and regulations and appropriate due process.”

“The political hacks from NewsGuard claim they’ll help you decide what news outlets you can trust,” said Rob Bluey, the communications director for The Heritage Foundation, which was given a 69.5/100 rating by NewsGuard. “In reality, you shouldn’t trust anything from this overtly biased organization.”


Evita Duffy-Alfonso is a staff writer to The Federalist and the co-founder of the Chicago Thinker. She loves the Midwest, lumberjack sports, writing, and her family. Follow her on Twitter at @evitaduffy_1 or contact her at evita@thefederalist.com.

Originally Posted on: https://thefederalist.com/2023/12/13/study-finds-taxpayer-funded-newsguard-is-outrageously-biased-against-conservatives/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=study-finds-taxpayer-funded-newsguard-is-outrageously-biased-against-conservatives
[By: Evita Duffy-Alfonso

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