Ben Shapiro on Capitol Hill: ‘NewsGuard Has Penalized Us Openly for Being a Conservative Site’

July 10th, 2024 5:38 PM

The Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro took discredited leftist website ratings firm NewsGuard to task during his explosive testimony against advertiser group collusion.

On July 10, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), a World Federation of Advertisers initiative, which allegedly exploited its control of 90% of world advertising dollars to starve conservative websites of ads.

Shapiro, whose publication has frequently faced demonetization and censorship on social media, testified against GARM. The Daily Wire editor and GOP members of the committee bashed GARM for allegedly violating antitrust laws and showing flagrant bias against right-leaning voices. They also shed light on bias at NewsGuard, the discredited source GARM uses for identifying sources of misinformation. 

“GARM and other organizations like it have worked in conjunction with [the Global Disinformation Index] and NewsGuard to set standards and again those standards are purportedly objective, in practice they rarely are, and so NewsGuard for example has penalized us openly for being a conservative site,” Shapiro said.

When Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL) asked Shapiro about how GARM’s “misinformation” sources— namely NewsGuard and GDI—have impacted The Daily Wire, Shapiro said that they used their unclear standards to harm the reputation of conservative publications. 

“The lack of transparency in the standards is actually a weapon that's used against one side of the political aisle and I keep asking the question over and over and over again: Can NewsGuard name a major right-wing outlet or conservative outlet that it deems brand safe? Can GARM do the same?” 

Shapiro went on to argue that NewsGuard and GARM had let The New York Times and CNN off the hook for misinformation. Shapiro agreed that right-leaning and leftist publications received wildly different treatment before declaring that, “a huge percentage of those ad dollars are still going to purportedly objective or leftwing outlets and virtually none are going to right-wing outlets.”

Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) also bashed NewsGuard, citing a 2023 study by MRC Free Speech America Associate Editor Joseph Vazquez to prove NewsGuard bias. Specifically, he said, “NewsGuard ranked leftist media organizations on average a 91 on a zero to 100 scale, right-leaning organizations a 66.” NewsGuard grew even more biased later in 2023, as this 25-point difference grew to a 26-point difference. 

Drew asked Shapiro to provide examples of the absurdity of NewsGuard’s refusal to hold the left accountable while demonizing the right. “The list is extraordinarily long,” Shapiro told him before listing off the media attacks on the Covington Catholic kids at the March for Life; covering for President Joe Biden by calling embarrassing videos of him “cheap fakes” and the ravings of MSNBC host Joy Reid. Shapiro added legacy media’s rhetoric accusing former President Trump of Russian Collusion

Shapiro summed it up brutally, “The list is endless which is precisely why, if you look at the Gallop polls and levels of trust in media, levels of trust in media right now are at all-time lows. They were at about 50% back in, say, 2005 and today they're south of 30%. There's a reason for that they've blown out their credibility but that doesn't seem to blow out their credibility with GARM or NewsGuard.”

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