The attack on the conservative internet has reached a new low.
Poynter, the journalism institute responsible for training writers and reporters, decided to promote a left-wing smear of conservative groups online. The result was a hit job written by someone who works for the anti-conservative Southern Poverty Law Center for a journalism organization funded by prominent liberal billionaires such as George Soros and Pierre Omidyar.
Poynter, which has started the International Fact-Checking Network, shared the new report and dataset called “UnNews,” declaring at least 29 right-leaning news outlets and organizations to be “unreliable news websites.”
Report author and SPLC producer Barrett Golding combined five major lists of websites marked “unreliable.” That result, which consisted of 515 names, included many prominent conservative sites — Breitbart, CNSNews.com, Daily Signal, Daily Wire, Drudge Report, Free Beacon, Judicial Watch, LifeNews, LifeSiteNews, LifeZette, LiveAction News, the Media Research Center, PJ Media, Project Veritas, Red State, The Blaze, Twitchy, and the Washington Examiner.
These sites stood next to conservative organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented baker Jack Phillips in the Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. While the ADF is not a news site, it was likely targeted because Golding works for the SPLC. The ADF is considered a “hate group” by the SPLC and is marked on the “hate map.” The Washington Post even questioned SPLC’s “political activism” and “bias.”
SPLC has been dropped by Twitter from its Trust and Safety Council and slammed by the mainstream media after multiple scandals rocked the organization. Its hate map even helped shooter Floyd Lee Corkins find the location of the Family Research Council, where he shot and wounded five people.
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Poynter is funded by Open Society Foundations, liberal billionaire George Soros’ massive foundations, as well as the Omidyar Network. The two combined for “$1.3 million in grant funding.” Funds were sent to Poynter specifically to establish the International Fact-Checking Network. The ‘UnNews’ list was started to help fact-checking organizations determine what was “unreliable.”
That anti-conservative mindset was apparent throughout the incoherent and inconsistent report. Conservative organizations were included throughout but liberal groups rarely were. The National Review and Heritage were removed from the list but Heritage’s Daily Signal was on it. That combined to create a shameless double-standard. It specifically targeted conservative media watchdog groups and didn’t include liberal ones.
The goal of the report is clear. Poynter is recommending that advertisers “who want to stop funding misinformation” should use its list. It stated that while marketers can create their own “blacklists,” those lists might be incomplete. Golding wrote that, “Advertisers don’t want to support publishers that might tar their brand with hate speech, falsehoods or some kinds of political messaging.”
Poynter has a longstanding history as an anchor in the journalism business. Its board of trustees includes execs from The New York Times, ESPN, Harvard, Vox, CBS, ABC, and The Washington Post. Poynter is currently working with Facebook and Google for its fact-checking programs.
The announcement mentioned that some sites, while initially on the list, were taken off, including the far left conspiracy site Alternet. Alternet has been rated by Media Bias Fact Check as being biased, especially since it refers to the GOP periodically as “craven.” Several other liberal sites were excluded from this list, such as ThinkProgress and Splinter, which doxxed Trump’s senior policy advisor Stephen Miller.
The report marked sites as “unreliable,” “biased,” “clickbait,” or “fake.” Breitbart, Alliance Defending Freedom, CNSNews.com, Project Veritas, and the Washington Examiner were all marked “unreliable.” Unreliable was defined as “websites that have posted deceptive content,” “sources that actively promote racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination,” “sites that contain some fake news,” and “sources that may be reliable but whose contents require further verification.”
The Heritage Foundation’s The Daily Signal, Ben Shapiro’s The Daily Wire, Drudge Report, Free Beacon, Judicial Watch, LiveAction, MRC, and PJ Media were tagged as “biased.” The tag was explained as “sources that come from a particular point of view and may rely on propaganda, decontextualized information, and opinions distorted as facts.”
LifeNews, LifeSiteNews, LifeZette, RedState, The Blaze, and Twitchy were marked as “clickbait.” This tag was defined as “sources that provide generally credible content, but use exaggerated, misleading, or questionable headlines, social media descriptions, and/or images.”
The list clearly reflects the biases of the liberal organizations that compiled its component parts. Poynter listed the organizations that contributed to the dataset in an attached document. These included FactCheck.org, Fake News Codex, MetaCert Protocol, OpenSources, Politifact, Snopes, and the disgraced SPLC.
Ultimately, the list and the agenda showed how far Poynter has fallen from its role as “the world’s most influential school for journalists” to a far-left censor of conservatives online. You can call a Chevy Nova a Ferrari but it’s still a Chevy Nova.