X owner Elon Musk came out swinging against the leftist media hall monitor NewsGuard and called for the whole company to be “disbanded immediately.”
Musk responded to criticism from WikiPedia co-founder Jimmy Wales who whined in a post Oct. 17 about the X platform allegedly removing “all the core features that made it even remotely possible to tell real journalists from fakes.” Through discussion on the X thread, Foundation For Freedom Online Executive Director Mike Benz pointed out to Musk that Wales was an advisor to the leftist NewsGuard, “which is knee deep in a plot to get gov’ts to bankrupt alternative news.” Musk did not hold back in his response to Benz’s revelatory Oct. 19 post: “This is crazy!”
Podcaster Tim Pool joined the conversation, stating that his website’s rating by NewsGuard was dinged because “we ran 5 stories out of nearly 5,000 that quoted Trump.” Meanwhile, as Pool noted, legacy and liberal media outlets that “ran fake stories out of Gaza” like The New York Times get perfect 100/100 scores.
Musk was having none of it. “What a scam! ‘Newsguard’ should be disbanded immediately,” he rebuked.
“There are a number of these politicized, so-called ratings outfits that exist to direct consumers away from conservative media and drive advertisers into the arms of the left,” said MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider. “Every one of these groups, whether it’s NewsGuard, Ad Fontes or others, needs to be exposed, and the public needs to understand that they are anything but reliable.”
What a scam!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 19, 2023
“Newsguard” should be disbanded immediately.
In a separate X thread, Musk called out EU Commissioner Theirry Breton for allegations levied by Benz that “NewsGuard worked w/ EU” on its new disinformation code. “Is this true @ThierryBreton?” asked Musk. “If so, the people of Europe deserve an explanation.”
MRC Free Speech America Director Michael Morris piled on, adding to Musk’s retort. “Musk is absolutely right,” said Morris. “And the American people also deserve an explanation. Speech and thought police have no place in the United States of America. Such business models are antithetical to the vision our Founding Fathers had when they made clear the importance of free speech and a free press when they underscored these fundamental liberties as part of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
The MRC has repeatedly shown through its analyses how skewed to favor the left NewsGuard’s ratings system has been. Using a media bias chart provided by AllSides in December 2021, the MRC found that NewsGuard gave a high average score of 93/100 to “left” and “lean left” outlets while slapping “right” and “lean right” outlets with a low average score of 66/100. The MRC then waited a year and conducted the same exact study to see if the needle moved. Surprise: It barely budged. MRC’s second study released in January 2023 found that NewsGuard’s average score for “left” and “lean left” outlets was a 91/100. Meanwhile, NewsGuard gave “right” and “lean right” outlets a lowly 66/100.
Watch MRC Free Speech America's mini-documentary on NewsGuard below:
MRC even revealed how NewsGuard rated communist Chinese state propaganda media as more reliable than right-leaning outlets based in the U.S., adding insult to injury. For example, the China-backed Global Times — which once threatened Australia with becoming “cannon fodder” on Twitter — got a score of 39.5/100. China Daily has a slightly higher score of 44.5/100. And NewsGuard scored both communist propaganda outlets significantly higher than The Federalist, which received an abysmal 12.5/100 Newsmax, which received a 15/100 and One America news, which was given a 25/100.
The MRC also showed that NewsGuard doled out perfect scores to leftist outlets that tried to mislead readers into thinking that the Hunter Biden laptop bombshell was disinformation. Perhaps that was because NewsGuard CEO Steven Brill was also on record calling the scandal a Russian “hoax.”
But NewsGuard isn’t the only leftist entity trying to act as a Ministry of Truth on the internet. MRC Free Speech America also recently exposed an leftist, so-called media ratings firm Ad Fontes. MRC laid bare Ad Fontes’s penchant for elevating leftist media while throttling right-leaning media with its own skewed scoring system. Using the firm’s so-called “Media Bias Chart,” MRC found that Ad Fontes rated sixty-four percent of the media it considered to be on the left as “reliable,” while only 32 percent of the media it labeled on the right were considered “reliable.”
One thing is clear: leftist website ratings firms like NewsGuard and Ad Fontes have no business policing the internet given their demonstrable biases. Both should be disbanded.
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