Congress Launching Investigation of NewsGuard

This article originally appeared on WND.com

Guest by post by Bob Unruh

NewsGuard, which purportedly “rates” news organizations for their truthfulness, has been described in a Real Clear Wire report as “a powerful censorship tool.”

And constitutional expert Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University whose popular commentary regularly skewers the establishment, has warned against subjecting children in America’s schools to the left-leaning bias of “fact-checkers” like NewsGuard because it “raises the specter of a type of de facto state media.”

Now a report at RedState is revealing U.S. Rep. James Comer, chief of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, is beginning an investigation of the “supposed arbiter of media reliability.”

The goal? Determine the “impact of NewsGuard on protected First Amendment speech and its potential to serve as a non-transparent agent of censorship campaigns.”

That same topic already is before the Supreme Court, in a dispute over the instructions from the Joe Biden administration to various social media companies to, in recent years, censor opinions and even facts about the 2020 election, COVID’s origins, the shots that have proven to be harmful, and more.

The report said Comer recently sent a message to NewsGuard with questions.

He said, “Our inquiry seeks documents on NewsGuard’s business relationships with government entities, its adherence to its own policies intended to guard against appearances of bias, how it tries to avoid and manage potential conflicts of interest arising from its investors and other influences, and actions that may have the impact of delegitimizing factually accurate information.”

Comer continued, “One concerned journalist expressed fear that NewsGuard’s activities are an extension of federal efforts—since struck down by courts—to coerce social media companies and to ‘destroy the financial survival of disfavored outlets…'”

In fact, a number of conservative and Christian news organizations largely have been defunded by social media companies following the same leftist ideology adopted by NewsGuard.

Comer said, “The committee seeks to make an independent determination about whether NewsGuard’s intervention on protected speech has been in any way sponsored by a federal, state, local, or foreign government.”

The report said NewGuard is a “a team of journalists who create a reliability rating system that scores various news outlets for accuracy based on various criteria. It has come under scrutiny for what many perceive as its bias against right-leaning outlets, including RedState, which have been the target of numerous censorship and demonetization efforts.”

Comer noted that NewsGuard already is accepting federal money under a contract with the Defense Department and that’s a concern as it generates the possibility of federal agencies involved in “censorship.”

The letter also cites NewsGuard’s “clear bias in favor of the left.”

The report in RedState explained, “NewsGuard and similar organizations have not only attacked conservative outlets by trying to tarnish their reputations, they have also gone after their revenue sources, persuading companies to refrain from spending advertising dollars with the sites.”

Steven Brill, the leftist founder of the group, was “one of the voices falsely claiming that the Hunter Biden laptop was likely false Russian disinformation,” Real Clear had reported.

That computer now has been documented as real, since the federal government itself used it as evidence in a trial in which Hunter Biden was convicted of gun rule felonies.

Bruce Afran, a lawyer with Consortium News, which had a falling out with NewsGuard, said, “What’s really happening here is that NewsGuard is trying to target those who take a different view from the government line.”

The Media Research Center, a long-established and well-known watchdog on the media, concluded, 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.”

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