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One of the most popular teacher’s unions in the country is partnering with a notorious left-wing organization to control the flow of information to schoolchildren.
The American Federation of Teachers announced Tuesday that it’s reached a “licensing agreement” with NewsGuard Technologies, the organization behind the notorious news-filtering service/plugin NewsGuard.
Once installed on a computer, NewsGuard displays a sort of report card or “Nutritional Label” every time you visit a news website. The report card purports to rate the site’s trustworthiness and legitimacy. But the criterion is a joke. A so-called “respected journalist” contacts editors of sites to bully them into complying with the organization’s made-up legitimacy standards — or else they get a bad rating. This “misinformation scam” is similar to some of the fake fact-checkers on Facebook who “add context” to stories that don’t comply with their left-wing agenda. Newsguard politely and smugly tries to blackmail sites into adding a liberal narrative to the content. Comply or they will give you a bad mark. They “fact-check” opinions and decide how the content of a site should be labeled. You can find stories that detail examples of this all over the web.
In a press release, AFT said that every teacher in its ranks, in addition to all of their students, will be granted a licensed copy of the plugin thanks to this deal:
“Under the terms of the pathbreaking licensing agreement, coinciding with National News Literacy Week … the AFT’s 1.7 million members, tens of millions of kids they teach, and their families, can now receive free, real-time ‘traffic light’ news ratings and detailed ‘Nutrition Label’ reviews, via a licensed copy of NewsGuard’s browser extension, whenever they search the web for news and information.”
AFT is led by Randi Weingarten, the far-left zealot who gained a reputation during the height of the COVID pandemic for lobbying to keep schools forever closed.
I’m really proud to announce that we’re partnering with Newsguard to combat misinformation. https://t.co/8grRRz1i9q
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) January 26, 2022
AFT’s press release goes on to praise NewsGuard for “uplift[ing] those outlets committed to truth and honesty rather than falsehoods and fabrications.”
But critics say this is false. The Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group that closely monitors the left-wing press, reported last month that NewsGuard rates left-wing news organizations significantly higher than conservative news organizations.
“The average NewsGuard score for the ‘left’ and ‘lean left’ outlets — which included leftist outlets like Jacobin and The Nation — was 93/100. While the average rating for ‘right’ and ‘lean right’ outlets — which included Fox News, Washington Times and New York Post — was a low 66/100. That’s a 27 point disparity,” according to MRC’s own news portal, NewsBusters.
While some might be tempted to conclude that perhaps the left-wing sites are simply more accurate in their reporting than the right-wing sites, critics say the facts tell a different story. They point, for instance, to NewsGuard’s habit of giving positive ratings to blatant propaganda outfits and smear merchants like Media Matters:
Media Matters still arguing that the Smollett attack was not a hoax, and they of course are “Newsguard certified” green check mark.
That’s the problem with leftists policing “the news”. Newsguard Certified means nothing… if anything it probably means inivetable bias. https://t.co/xqXwk1da1T
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 1, 2019
Critics also say that NewsGuard never penalizes left-wing establishment outlets when they share fake news.
NewsGuard’s just released a “Best and Worst of 2021” report that lists the 10 best and worst sites, misinformation-wise. Included among the top 10 sites “that earned a perfect 100 score” are NBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR and USA Today. But most of these outlets participated in the Border Patrol whip hoax.
What in God’s name are we doing? Whips? Really? An image of the treatment of Haitian migrants on the border https://t.co/jAeunj2hHY
— Sara Sidner (@sarasidnerCNN) September 22, 2021
Analysis: What one photo from the border tells us about the evolving migrant crisis https://t.co/nu3AmzTUVY
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 20, 2021
Images of a CBP agent twirling his horse reins like a lasso at migrants reminded historians of the nation’s painful past. USA TODAY reporter @javonteA explains how the whip has terrorized Black bodies in both the Caribbean and the U.S. for centuries. https://t.co/YmxqJtUvDp pic.twitter.com/xW7MOl0SX0
— USA TODAY Politics (@usatodayDC) September 24, 2021
Most of these sites have also disseminated COVID misinformation:
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) October 8, 2021
Yet these sites are automatically granted forgiveness and the benefit of the doubt. This is no surprise, according to Phillip W. Magness and Ethan Yang, two researchers at the American Institute for Economic Research.
Last August the two decided to create their own report or “nutritional label” for NewsGuard, and the results weren’t pretty.
“We soon discovered that NewsGuard falls far short of the very same criteria for accuracy and transparency that it claims to apply to other websites. Most of the company’s fact-checkers lack basic qualifications in the scientific and social-scientific fields that they purport to arbitrate,” the AIER report reads.
“NewsGuard’s own track record of commentary – particularly on the Covid-19 pandemic – reveals a pattern of unreliable and misleading claims that required subsequent corrections, and analysis that regularly conflates fact with opinion journalism in rendering a judgement on a website’s content. Furthermore, the company’s own practices fall far short of the transparency and disclosure standards it regularly applies to other websites.”
A recent example of NewGuard’s illegitimacy occurred just days ago amid NPR’s false reporting on Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Even though Justices Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor and John Roberts all debunked NPR’s reporting, the outlet refused to “take the L” and admit its error.
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) January 21, 2022
While this would normally be rewarded with a penalty, per NewsGuard’s purported usual standards, in this case the company is making an exception.
“We’re keeping an eye on this story. The back and forth about the facts is still ongoing,” a NewsGuard spokesperson told Breitbart late last week.
Actually, the facts are extremely clear, and critics say these facts all point to NewsGuard being an illegitimate entity whose ratings shouldn’t be trusted by anybody, particularly young children susceptible to left-wing propaganda.
Newsguard is a propaganda outfit funded by special interests. It’s designed specifically to launder information on behalf of those interests such as big tech, pharmaceutical companies and others. https://t.co/iXk3wWRiTC pic.twitter.com/L9pqsXDRaR
— a newsman (@a_newsman) January 25, 2022
Magness and Yang also noted in their report that NewsGuard’s “staff and board boast powerful connections to the government, finance, and the media.”
According to Revolver News, included among the company’s board of advisors is Obama-era Education Secretary Arne Duncan and former CIA Director Michael Hayden, a guy who thinks Trump supports are America’s Taliban …
Take a moment to digest that this has just been approved for schools all across America. While parents were fighting CRT, the liberal agenda fortified itself without a word of pushback.
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