NewsGuard denies being government funded after Matt Taibbi's Twitter Files expose

Taibbi tweeted out another round of the Twitter files on Thursday and named NewsGuard as funded by the Department of Defense.

Joshua Young North Carolina

Matt Taibbi appeared before the new congressional Weaponization of Government Committee on Thursday and said the for-profit organization NewsGuard, an organization aimed at "combating misinformation," according to their website, was "US government funded."

According to the Washington Examiner, "In a lengthy email to @mtaibbi on Friday morning, Newsguard's CEO Gordon Crovitz refuted that the purported disinformation tracker is 'U.S. government funded.' In 2021, the Department of Defense awarded $749,387 to Newsguard."

Taibbi also tweeted out another round of the Twitter files on Thursday, detailing what he dubbed a "Censorship-Industrial Complex" moving within Twitter, government agencies, establishment media, and mostly non-profit organizations all of whom ideologically align in censorship efforts and named NewsGuard as funded by the Department of Defense.

"Some NGOs, like the GEC-funded Global Disinformation Index or the DOD-funded Newsguard, not only seek content moderation but apply subjective 'risk' or 'reliability' scores to media outlets, which can result in reduction in revenue. Do we want government in this role?" Taibbi tweeted in the Twitter files installment.

On Friday, NewsGuard CEO Crovitz emailed Taibbi and said, "During the hearing, NewsGuard was inaccurately described as 'US government funded.' Unlike other entities mention during the hearing, we are not a non-profit funded by government grants."

Taibbi reported in the Twitter files that NewsGuard was awarded $749,387 in 2021. Reporting for the Washington Examiner, Gabe Kaminsky reported the same amount and provided a screenshot of the award.

According to the site, the Department of Defense gave NewsGuard that amount in 2021.

NewsGuard, via a paid service, gives ratings to news outlets and organizations. In January of last year, CNN had a score of 80/100, Rolling Stone 77.5/100, Fox News 69.5/100, and Breitbart 49.5/100.

In his email to Taibbi, Crovitz said his organization's analysts "alert officials in the US and in other democracies, including Ukraine, about false narratives targeting America and its allies." 

"We are proud of our work countering Russian and Chinese disinformation on behalf of Western democracies," Crovitz added. Crovitz also said, unlike the Global Disinformation Index, his organization was transparent in their risk ratings.

According to the Media Research Center, "NewsGuard's media credibility ratings are biased toward left-leaning news sites, as it gives left-wing outlets better trust ratings on average than right-wing sources."

"Left-wing outlets saw an average rating of 93% and right-wing outlets received 66%," MRC reported

Crovitz wrote an op-ed in the Washington Examiner that "slammed the Global Disinformation Index for being 'biased against conservative sites.'"


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