The Consortium News lawsuit against a private news rating system lays out how the government can suppress speech by proxy
I suppose the irony is that America, a country founded by citizens with little tolerance for government, has mutated into a government that has little tolerance for its citizens.
My friend directly lost his job yesterday because of this. He writes for an independent heterodox online publication and was laid off yesterday. His boss said they were downgraded BY NEWSGUARD after they published COVID lab leak theory articles and they lost revenue and grants DIRECTLY due to this downgrade. EDIT: well he DID write for for the outlet...
Having taxpayer dollars spent on suppressing the free speech of taxpayers is just beyond galling.
The tail is wagging the dog. Thanks for doing what you can to keep these wolves in check Matt.
"But, Jefferson worried that the people - and the argument goes back to Thucydides and Aristotle - are easily misled. He also stressed, passionately and repeatedly, that it was essential for the people to understand the risks and benefits of government, to educate themselves, and to involve themselves in the political process. Without that, he said, the wolves will take over." —Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World
Next it is time to see how Wikipedia's rating system of "reliable sources" also suppresses speech.
Wikipedia rates Consortium News as UNRELIABLE.
CONSORTIUM NEWS cannot be a citation for Wikipedia.
And this is exactly why I would never listen to any news or opinion type show on PBS… someone should also call them out…
"Name and shame." Thank you for doing that here, Matt, with the co-CEOs of this POS company. We need thousands of these lawsuits out there. There is a legal phrase I misremember, penned by SCOTUS in one of their pro first amendment rulings, regarding disallowing censorship by the government by proxy and threat. Freedom of speech includes the freedom to hear it, to consume it. This, and this alone, is the meaningful battle of our time. All the rest is window dressing. We are with you.
Please follow up with examples of MainStream media stories that are flat out wrong but not flagged and ’conspiracy stories’ flagged as wrong that turned out to be totally correct.
The money is one issue, but corruption in their judgement will exoose their charade.
They must be stopped.
This feels like small potatoes to me. Very small.
When Jeff Bezos contracts with the CIA and other government "intelligence" agencies and bureaucracies to do their cloud computing for 10s of billions of dollars on one hand, then continues to canonize them with the other (WaPo), why is no one asking about THAT government influence and censorship? And we know he's not alone. CEO Crovitz is philosophically correct in that the government has its tentacles in so many private pies, that it can - and far too often does - influence and "control" private enterprise from anyone who receives government funding (or over priced business contracts), from Covid relief to education to culture makers (advertising, entertainment and other media) to spying.
The practice is pernicious to say the least, and a free press, while critical to our society, is only one of many private enterprises doing the government's bidding.
"Anti-U.S." I'm sure what they really mean are articles critical of the U.S. government, of officialdom. Such articles are much needed and should perhaps be labeled pro-U.S. since we the people need journalists and a free press that actually challenges authority.
And to think we the people pay for this BS "rating" system!
Let my people read!
Hell I remember when newsguard rolled out. A few centrist outlets were really excited about it (TimCast was one). I immediately had the impression they were slimy grifters, and that impression has not changed since.
Reading between the lines here, they're an extortion operation. "Take down this thing you said that our paymasters don't like or we'll brand you a disinformation operation."
WhO cOUld haVe sEEn tHaT cOmINg!
Thank you for your work exposing corruption. I hope you win!
I have no doubt that Consortium News is being adversely impacted by their rating, but I have to wonder if there is a cohort of the population that will use a negative rating by Newsguard as a litmus test to identify a source worth reading, similar to how young people flocked to music with a "Parental Advisory" warning on CDs.
In March 2022 they went after the little Donbass Insider. Its co-founder, Christelle Neant published the letter she wrote to them. Some of the names then associated with Newsguard:
"Indeed, when we look at the profile of the NewsGuard team, and especially of its advisory board,
we immediately understand that there is a problem, a big problem even, in terms of impartiality
and neutrality. Indeed, the NewsGuard advisory board includes :
– Don Baer, former White House communications director during the Clinton administration;
– Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education under the Obama administration;
– Retired General Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, and former director of the
National Security Agency (NSA);
– Elise Jordan, former pen of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice;
– Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Secretary General of NATO;
– Tom Ridge, former first Secretary of State for Homeland Security in the George W. Bush
– Gianni Riotta, editorial writer for La Stampa (you know the Italian newspaper that used a
photo of the massacre of civilians in Donetsk by the Ukrainian army to illustrate an article on the
situation in Kiev);
– Richard Stengel, former Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs in the Obama
– Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, whose presence on this strongly biased committee
(to put it mildly) indicates that the famous encyclopaedia is not neutral.
Add to this the fact that the “analyst” writing to me, Edward O’Reilly, is a former member of the
US Marine Corps, and that Newsguard regularly cites Bellingcat (whose links to the British
Foreign Office’s secret programmes have been proven) as a reliable source, and it soon becomes
clear that this site is just another showcase for the US intelligence services, led by the CIA, the
White House and NATO, to impose the US narrative."
Wow. "Newsguard" is one term that escaped George Orwell, but it would have fit perfectly in his 1984 world. I imagine this isn't the only kind of press-pentagon-executive branch collusion taking place in the U.S. Especially since there are at least nineteen "intelligence" agencies hard at work looking for conspiracies, misinformation, disinformation, and, I guess, anything that may contradict the needs and demands of Big Brother. This is so discouraging... and dangerous. Thank you Matt for the story and the lawsuit.
Since The Pentagram...oops...The Pentagon regularly misplaces trillions of tax dollars every year with exactly zero consequences I imagine that they have a shit ton of money to fuck with our heads.
I doubt that fact it will change anytime soon.
And since I read an article yesterday that said that "Americans overwhelmingly support aid to Israel & Ukraine" I'd say that the Pentaon's perception management is an "overwhelming" success.
Americans always seem to support sending their cash to war zones.
It's things like free healthcare & welfare that they find repugnant.