NewsGuard: Defending Fake News Over Truth-Telling
by Stephen Lendman
War on journalism the way it should be rages in the West, especially in America where major media feed news consumers a daily diet of managed news misinformation and disinformation.
Junk food news is also featured, shifting attention from vital issues to low-grade entertainment, along with carpet-bombing TV viewers with commercialism.
Television in America has devolved to everything to sell and nothing to tell, a tool for treating viewers like mushrooms – keeping them well-watered and in the dark on domestic and geopolitical issues mattering most.
Censorship in America is the new normal, war ongoing against speech, media, and academic freedoms – on the phony pretext of protecting national security and other invented reasons.
What’s going on is all about controlling the message, wanting content on vital issues dissenting from the official narrative suppressed, especially online.
Digital democracy is the last frontier of free and open expression, the only reliable independent space for real news, information and analysis – enabling anyone to express views freely on any topics.
Government censorship remains an ominous possibility – in America and elsewhere in the West, the hallmark of totalitarian societies.
That’s where things are heading, especially in America with Net Neutrality on the ropes. Ending it is all about letting ISP giants establish toll roads or premium lanes, charge extra for speed and free and easy access, control content, as well as stifle dissent and independent thought – a dismal prospect.
NewsGuard Technologies is neocon anti-free press initiative. Co-founded by establishment figures Steven Brill and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, it’s staffed with former federal officials, including from the CIA, NSA, Homeland Security and State Department.
Funded by powerful monied interests, including tech giants, PR, and social network firms, it’s involved in rating thousands of websites, using nine criteria, listed as follows:
“Does not repeatedly publish false content
Gathers and presents information responsibly
Regularly corrects or clarifies errors
Handles the difference between news and opinion responsibly
Avoids deceptive headlines
Website discloses ownership and financing
Clearly labels advertising
Reveals who’s in charge, including any possible conflicts of interest
Provides information about content creators”
US and other Western print and electronic media strike out on all of the above criteria that are most important.
NewGuard assigns color-coded ratings, indicating “trustworthiness” by establishment standards. Content diverging from the official (falsified) narrative is automatically panned.
NewsGuard’s notion of “restor(ing) trust and accountability” to journalism is all about opposing truth-telling news, information, and analysis from reliable independent sources.
It’s similar to Harvard’s fake guide to “fake news, misinformation, and propaganda,” endorsing sanitized content acceptable to America’s deep state, opposing journalism the way it’s supposed to be.
Its list of sites it calls “bias(ed),” “conspira(torial),” “unreliable,” “fake,” and otherwise mislabeled includes the most reliable sources of real news and information on vital domestic and geopolitical issues.
Sites it urges avoiding are ones readers should rely on exclusively, avoiding major media print and electronic sources, featuring fake news on vital issues.
NewGuard is a guardian of monied and other powerful interests against the general welfare.
It’s connected to US dark forces, supporting policies just societies abhor – pro-war, pro-business, anti-peace, equity, justice, and government of, by, and for everyone, not just the privileged few alone.
Its so-called advisors include former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden, former DHS secretary Tom Ridge, former State Department under secretary for propaganda called “public diplomacy and public affairs” Richard Stengel, former White House communications director Don Baer, and former Condoleezza Rice speechwriter Elise Jordan, among other dubious figures.
Top-rated sites include the NYT, CIA-connected Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, other mainstream print publications, along with US broadcast and cable new channels – bastions of disinformation, Big Lies and fake news.
So-called “proceed with caution” sites are the most reliable and trustworthy sources of journalism the way it’s supposed to be – why they’re erroneously called “websites (that) generally fail to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability.”
NewsGuard is all about supporting gatekeepers of official narrative news and information, censoring machines, sanitizing reports, filtering out what the public most needs to know about issues related to their rights, well-being and safety.
The dubious operation demonizes reliable, accurate, trustworthy sources, diverging from the official narrative, doing what journalists are supposed to do – their jobs, beholden solely to truth-telling.
Connected to the national security state and monied interests, NewGuard’s conflicts of interest are glaring.
As America descends further toward police state/totalitarian rule, more initiatives like NewGuard and Harvard’s fake guide to fake news are likely.
Defeating their objectives is as simple as avoiding establishment (fake) news and information sources.
Tune them all out. Rely exclusively on easily accessed reliable independent sources to stay informed – mainly available online.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."