Editor’s Note (Jan. 25, 2024): This article has been updated to clarify that Ad Fontes did not rate “some” of the leftist outlets that falsely the infamous Gaza hospital hoax story. Ad Fontes rated The New York Times’ infamous reporting, giving it a relatively low score of 23.67 for reliability and 0 for bias. Some of the largest media outlets reporting the hoax — Politico, Reuters and TIME Magazine — did not receive Ad Fontes ratings.
Disgraced media ratings firm Ad Fontes shut the curtains and hid damning data from paying subscribers following MRC Free Speech America’s scathing exposé on the self-dubbed arbiter of truth and facts. So much for the company’s claims of being transparent.
Ad Fontes, a powerful tool in the left’s arsenal as it attempts to destroy right-leaning media, will limit users’ ability to review the company’s dubious ratings, according to a press release from the company. Strikingly, the move came after MRC researchers used this now-limited data to expose the company’s partisan targeting of right-leaning media.
Ad Fontes issued a mass email to its subscribers on Nov. 21 — exactly three months after MRC’s exposé — announcing the drastic change. According to the new policy, Ad Fontes will only allow users to review a scant total of 250 media entities, a stark contrast to its previous policy that permitted users to freely view its ratings of over 7,000 media entities.
On Sept. 21, MRC published a report showing that Ad Fontes disproportionately treated right-leaning media more harshly than media entities on the left. How so? A generous 64 percent of leftist media reviewed by Ad Fontes were dubbed “reliable,” a strikingly high percentage compared to the mere 32 percent of right-leaning media deemed “reliable.”
Ad Fontes faced scorching criticism, perhaps for the first time since its 2018 inception, following MRC’s review of the leftist company’s publicly available ratings.
Most recently, MRC highlighted that Ad Fontes, the self-proclaimed seeker of truth and reliability, has been missing in action. Notably, the group did not rate some of the leftist media rags that falsely and irresponsibly claimed that Israeli forces bombed a Gaza-based hospital.
Ad Fontes claimed that its dramatic limits are necessary “to grow sustainability as a business.” In an email, Ad Fontes declared, “Unfortunately, we’ve experienced too many instances of users working around our paywalls and/or buying low-cost individual memberships to scrape our data for commercial purposes.”
Yet the change marks a stark departure from Ad Fontes’ purported pledge to be transparent about its leftist ratings.
Specifically, the decision to limit its data is at odds with the company’s proclamation of transparency and accessibility. On its website, Ad Fontes calls “methodological transparency” the “most important mechanism” to mitigate “bias and potential conflicts of interest.” Echoing these claims, Ad Fontes communications director Jennifer Arvin Furlong touted on Nov. 26 its so-called “transparen[cy]” as one of the reasons Ad Fontes “has become an essential leader” in media literacy education.
In other words: Don’t believe your lying eyes, there’s nothing to see here, folks.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact ABC News (818) 460-7477, CBS News (212) 975-3247 and NBC News (212) 664-6192 and demand they report on Ad Fontes’s egregious left-wing bias.