Biden Targets The American Spectator in Conservative Blacklisting - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Biden Targets The American Spectator in Conservative Blacklisting

Well, of course.

Now comes the news that the Biden administration is using taxpayer dollars to blacklist, defund, and silence The American Spectator and other conservative media outlets. U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to fund a leftist British censorship group calling itself the Global Disinformation Index.

The news of all this first exploded in a series written by the Washington Examiner and reporter Gabe Kaminsky.

The first Examiner blockbuster was headlined as follows: 

Disinformation Inc: Meet the groups hauling in cash to secretly blacklist conservative news

The Examiner reported: 

EXCLUSIVE — Well-funded “disinformation” tracking groups are part of a stealth operation blacklisting and trying to defund conservative media, likely costing the news companies large sums in advertising dollars, a Washington Examiner investigation found. 

Major ad companies are increasingly seeking guidance from purportedly “nonpartisan” groups claiming to be detecting and fighting online “disinformation.” These same “disinformation” monitors are compiling secret website blacklists and feeding them to ad companies, with the aim of defunding and shutting down disfavored speech, according to sources familiar with the situation, public memos, and emails obtained by the Washington Examiner.

The New York Post reports this, bold print for emphasis supplied:

The “Global Disinformation Index,” or GDI, is a British organization with a pair of US nonprofit affiliates. It receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from the State Department’s Global Engagement Center and the taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy.

The British “‘Global Disinformation Index,’ or GDI,” self-describes as follows:

The Global Disinformation Index (GDI) is a nonprofit organisation that operates on the three principles of neutrality, independence and transparency. Our vision is a world free of disinformation and its harms, which undermine the trusted information ecosystems that are the foundation of democratic processes. GDI provides disinformation risk ratings of the world’s news and information sources, with a mission to catalyse industry and government to defund disinformation.

Translation? The GDI has set itself up as a far-left King of Censorship. Its targets: conservative media outlets in the United States. At the same time, it protects America’s left-wing publications, from NPR to the New York Times to the Washington Post and more.

The Washington Examiner and its ace reporter Kaminsky have serious scoop with this series revealing the blacklisting of conservative media outlets by the Global Disinformation Index. 

What, exactly, are the State Department’s Global Engagement Center and the National Endowment for Democracy, both of which are shipping funding dollars to the blacklisting GDI?

The State Department website describes this part of the U.S. taxpayer–funded bureaucracy this way: 

Mission: To direct, lead, synchronize, integrate, and coordinate U.S. Federal Government efforts to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining or influencing the policies, security, or stability of the United States, its allies, and partner nations. 

Vision: To be a data-driven body leading U.S. interagency efforts in proactively addressing foreign adversaries’ attempts to undermine U.S. interests using disinformation and propaganda.

And the National Endowment for Democracy? The NED self-describes this way:

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is an independent, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, NED makes more than 2,000 grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 100 countries.

A personal note: The National Endowment for Democracy was established during President Ronald Reagan’s White House tenure. As a former associate political director for the Reagan White House, I can only say he would be embarrassed, not to mention angered, to see what the inheritors of this once idealistic vision have turned the endowment into. One of the president’s favorite publications back in the day was The American Spectator, and our founder, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., was a decided friend. There is no way in the world that Ronald Reagan would ever, ever go along with silencing this publication — or any other.

So. Again. The Biden State Department, under the leadership of Biden-appointed Secretary of State Antony Blinken, proclaims that the vision for the State Department’s Global Engagement Center is to be “proactively addressing foreign adversaries’ attempts to undermine U.S. interests using disinformation and propaganda.”

And the National Endowment for Democracy is about “working for democratic goals in more than 100 countries.” 

Uh-huh. Last I checked, conservative media and The American Spectator are not “foreign adversaries” attempting to “undermine U.S. interests using disinformation and propaganda.”

And publishing a magazine devoted to free speech is exactly “working for democratic goals.”

To accomplish all this “vision” of Biden’s State Department and the NED, the two are targeting The American Spectator to silence it by putting it out of business — along with drawing a bull’s-eye on all the other conservative media sites listed by the GDI. But of course!

On Monday of this week, the Washington Examiner reported this, bold print for emphasis supplied:

But GDI, which did not reply to several requests for its exclusion list, discloses in reports which outlets it identifies as the “riskiest” and “worst” offenders for peddling disinformation. These 10, which all skew to the right, are the American Spectator, Newsmax, the Federalist, the American Conservative, One America News, the Blaze, the Daily Wire, RealClearPolitics, Reason, and the New York Post.

Here, for reference, is the official GDI description of The American Spectator: (Risk level: Maximum)

In content published by The American Spectator, bias, sensationalism, and divisive and targeting language were prevalent, while fact-based ledes and well-measured headlines were rare. On the contrary, most of the assessed articles on this domain negatively targeted a group or individual in their title or opening sentences. Frequent hyperbole and generalizations further supported the establishment of adversarial narratives. The site also provides little transparency around its operations, in particular its policies on sources and attribution and its editorial guidelines.

Right. What leftist propaganda.

As can be seen above, the Examiner links to the original GDI site. Reading the original GDI source reveals a chart that lists 10 so-called “Least risky sites” side by side with another 10 labeled “Riskiest sites,” the latter being the 10 sites — including The American Spectator — mentioned above.

And the “Least risky sites” when it comes to spewing disinformation and propaganda? Who are they? Try not to laugh. In the order the DGI lists them, they are as follows:

  1. NPR
  2. AP News
  3. The New York Times
  4. ProPublica
  5. Insider
  6. USA Today
  7. The Washington Post
  8. BuzzFeed News
  9. Wall Street Journal
  10. HuffPost

Let’s take just one of DGI’s “Least risky sites” — the New York Times. Here’s a recent headline about the Times from, yes, the conservative and decidedly reputable Breitbart News:

Exclusive: New York Times Waited More than 500 Days Before Reporting It Authenticated Hunter Biden Laptop Emails

Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle reported this: 

The New York Times, self-proclaimed “paper of record,” waited more than 500 days before finally reporting it had authenticated critical emails from now-President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop.

The Times allowed the false narrative that the Hunter Biden laptop was somehow “Russian disinformation” to permeate the public debate for over a year when it had obtained evidence to the contrary, according to emails obtained exclusively by Breitbart News.

And reporting like this from the Times puts it on the GDI “Least risky” list?

Of course it does. The Left sticks together.

Make no mistake. Whether these are leftists running the Global Disinformation Index in Britain with the help of American tax dollars sent by the Biden administration, or whether they are leftist bureaucrats in Biden’s State Department, the objective first, last, and always is to shut down conservative media.

And Joe Biden’s State Department has made it crystal clear that The American Spectator is in their sights. 

Newsflash for Joe? We’re not going anywhere.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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