Does Poynter Have an Obsession with Blacklisting 'Conservative' Media?

February 15th, 2023 12:58 AM

The liberal Poynter Institute for Media Studies seems to have an obsession with "conservative" media outlets getting put on blacklists.

Gabe Kaminsky at the Washington Examiner exposed how the State Department and liberal Big Tech giant Microsoft actively bankrolled the leftist British group Global Disinformation Index (GDI). GDI was reportedly “feeding blacklists to ad companies with the intent of defunding and shutting down websites peddling alleged ‘disinformation.”’

GDI's blacklist included news sites like The Daily Wire, RealClear Politics, Breitbart, Newsmax, One America News, The Daily Caller, The Washington Times, the Examiner and Blaze Media. The former associate director for Poynter’s George Soros-funded International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), Cristina Tardáguila, represents Poynter and its IFCN on GDI’s advisory panel

In 2019, the MRC exposed Poynter for creating an “UnNews” blacklist of its own, with some of the names conveniently making their way onto GDI’s list just a few years later. Poynter would later retract the list after severe political backlash. MRC Free Speech America reached out to Poynter by phone and email to inquire as to whether Tardáguila was actively representing the organization on GDI’s advisory panel in an official capacity and whether if it had any ongoing relationship with GDI. MRC received no response as of the publication of this article.

What’s even more glaring is that Poynter actively promoted GDI just a few months after its own media blacklisting scandal. Tardáguila co-wrote a September 2019 piece praising GDI and Poynter’s collaboration with the leftist-funded outfit through its liberal fact-checker PolitiFact:

[T]he nonprofit Global Disinformation Index published a study based on a sample of about 20,000 websites that have been found by (Poynter-owned) PolitiFact and others to publish misinformation. It found that ad technology companies spend about $235 million annually by running ads on such sites. 

GDI’s list of leftist funders also leave no doubt about its ideological bent. George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Luminate, The Knight Foundation and Craig Newmark Philanthropies are all GDI funders. MRC Free Speech America also discovered that Soros’ Open Society Initiative for Europe division director for transparency, accountability, and participation Finn Heinreich also sits on GDI’s advisory panel. 

Some of the billionaire figures behind GDI’s funders also heavily fund Poynter. In January 2022, MRC Free Speech America identified at least 11 major left-wing organizations that fund Poynter Institute to the tune of at least $15,755,197 between 2007 and 2020, according to Foundation Directory Online data. Some of the groups are specifically connected to George Soros, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Talk about an incestuous network of censorship-loving fanatics.

It would behoove Poynter to renounce any affiliation with GDI given the current backlash against it being reportedly funded with hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars by the State Department. Otherwise, Poynter would be allowing itself to be cemented as nothing more than a Soros-funded operation with an infatuation for silencing views it disagrees with. The irony is that Poynter considers itself to be the “gold standard” of journalism. Perhaps it could use a refresher course on what “freedom” of “the press” means.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact Poynter at 727-821-9494 and demand it renounce any affiliation with the Global Disinformation Index.