Fighting Propaganda: Check Your Sources
If you’ve been following the findings of Republican Rep. Jim Jordan’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, then you know that the existence of a “Censorship Complex” targeting conservatives and right-leaning news outlets is not a “conspiracy theory” but an actual conspiracy. And worse, the collusion between Big Tech and the federal government was funded by your tax dollars through the Department of Defense and its CISA subagency.
The House Judiciary Select Committee report from June 26, 2023 details their findings.
CISA, we learn from the report, is “a little-known agency buried in the depths of DHS” that creepily expanded its mission in the name of combatting ‘foreign disinformation’ and later “began surveilling and censoring American citizens online, directly and by proxy.”
The primary targets were then candidate and President Donald J. Trump, his son Don Jr., and a host of conservative individuals including former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Mollie Hemingway, Jack Posobiec, Sean Hannity, Dave Rubin, along with media outlets like One America News, New York Post and Newsmax. Even parody publications like Babylon Bee did not escape the attack on free speech.
You can read all the reports from the House Judiciary Committee and Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on the House Judiciary website.
In the House Select Subcommittee’s Nov. 6, 2023 report it’s revealed that the suppression of free speech began “in the lead-up to the 2020 election, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.” As Americans and lawmakers were openly discussing changes in election laws and procedures that were happening mid-cycle “their constitutionally protected speech was intentionally suppressed as a consequence of the federal government’s direct coordination with third-party organizations, particularly universities, and social media platforms.”
The Supreme Court has previously ruled that it’s a given that the government cannot outsource actions that are unconstitutional. The House Select Subcommittee rightly observes that such censorship-by-proxy is “an especially nefarious form of state action, given that it is designed to evade detection, oversight efforts, and public records requests.”
The Big Tech actors, left-leaning organizations, and, sadly, weaponized government agencies will no doubt be at it again in 2024. They will find new ways to keep tearing down our constitutional republic, through lawfare like denying Trump a place on the ballot, using divisive propaganda, pushing for mass mail-in voting, and censoring citizens (in the U.S. and abroad).
In the March 2023 hearing of the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, independent journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Schellenberger, called out a news-rating company, NewsGuard, and the Global Disinformation Index as part of the vast Censorship Complex. In his testimony, Taibbi revealed that NewsGuard received $750,000 in funding from the DoD.
At the same March 9, 2023 hearing, Schellenberger testified:
“NewsGuard and the Global Disinformation Index, both taxpayer-funded, are urging advertisers to boycott disfavored publications, and direct their funding to favored ones. The organizations have been caught spreading disinformation, including that the COVID lab leak theory is a debunked conspiracy theory, and seeking to discredit publications which accurately reported on Hunter Biden’s laptop, such as the New York Post.”
The disinformation spread is pervasive. According to its own website and news releases, NewsGuard partners include Microsoft Education, Bing, the U.S. Department of State, The American Federation of Teachers, University of Michigan, Giphy, PubMatic, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and the World Health Organization. Elon Musk, CEO of X (formerly Twitter) called NewsGuard a “scam” that should be disbanded.
In true Owellian fashion, it turns out NewsGuard’s “red-rated” media outlets (those deemed unreliable) are likely the most reliable sources around. Among the censored or “red-rated” news outlets are One America News, Newsmax, Gateway Pundit, and The Federalist.
Despite their efforts, a majority of Americans seem to be tuning out the propaganda. Let’s hope.
As we enter the fight of our lives against the statists in the 2024 Election Cycle, we must be vigilant to protect free speech and call out violations to our individual rights. At the very least, we should be aware of the very real collusion between Big Tech and the federal government to suppress free speech.
Here’s a list of favorite conservative news sources from Liberty Nation, no doubt “red-rated” by NewsGuard. But you can be the judge.