Fed-funded nonprofit cutting ties with group blacklisting conservative news

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A nonprofit funded by the federal government is severing its ties to a U.K.-based organization that purports to battle “disinformation,” but actually is pursuing an agenda to censor conservative perspectives in American news, including WND.

Other targets of the so-called Global Disinformation Index, which serves blacklists to American web advertising companies to try to kill off conservative views, include Epoch Times, Hannity, Washington Times, Lifezette, Bill O’Reilly, Daily Signal, Judicial Watch, Mike Huckabee, OANN, Glenn Beck, American Thinker, Townhall, Newsbusters and many more.

The action follows a series of reports by the Washington Examiner on the scandalous developments in the news industry.

The Examiner’s newest report explains the National Endowment for Democracy, which is funded mostly by Congress, gave nearly $546,000 during 2020 and 2021 to the Global Disinformation Index.

That’s the U.K. group that creates “blacklists” of publications with viewpoints with which it disagrees, viewpoints that it is working to suppress and even eliminate.

“Amid GOP lawmakers raising concerns, the National Endowment for Democracy is taking steps to distance itself from the purported ‘disinformation’ monitor and will no longer be providing it future grant money,” the group told the Examiner.

Spokeswoman Leslie Aun explained the NED’s mandate is to “work around the world and not in the United States.”

“We have strict policies and practices in place so that NED and the work we fund remains internationally focused, ensuring the Endowment does not become involved in domestic politics,” she said. “Recently, we became aware that one of our grantees, the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), was engaged in an initiative, funded by a different donor, that focused on specific U.S. media outlets. We recognize the important work GDI has done with NED support in other countries to help preserve the integrity of the information space and counter authoritarian influence. However, given our commitment to avoid the perception that NED is engaged in any work domestically, directly or indirectly, we will no longer provide financial support to GDI.”

WND recently reported two U.S. senators, Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, are demanding an investigation into blacklists that were aimed at – and harmed – conservative media.

WND’s longtime vice president and managing editor, David Kupelian, explains how the site that was begun in 1997 has been in the bull’s eye.

“In late 2020, three major international online ad companies that had long served ads on WND – our main source of revenue and sustenance – all suddenly decided, at almost the exact same time, to cancel WND in the run-up to the most important presidential election of our lifetimes. The ad companies blacklisting WND – namely Xandr, TripleLift, and Teads – all cited vague breaches of their terms of service, including, and I quote, ‘any content that is illegal or otherwise contrary to any applicable law, regulation, directive, guideline or order, including without limitation any misleading, unethical, obscene, defamatory, deceptive, gambling-related or hateful content,’ etc. So it has nothing to do with ‘disinformation.’ If they don’t like your politics, you’re cancelled.”

The senators want to know how taxpayer dollars have flowed to GDI, which intends to shut down disfavored speech.

“Free speech is fundamental to preserving our liberty,” explained Johnson, of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. “If taxpayer dollars are being used to censor voices because they are critical of the administration’s disastrous policies, every American should be concerned. We need to further investigate this potential First Amendment violation.”

It was reported just a day earlier that Microsoft’s Xandr had subscribed to the blacklist and helped defund conservative websites. But after the Examiner revealed Xandr’s participation, the company “launched an internal review and suspended its relationship with GDI.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also said, “One of the most disturbing things we’ve seen in recent years is the eagerness of Big Tech to get in bed with Big Government and with Democrats, in the Biden administration, Democrats burrowed into career positions in the Deep State and Democrats in Congress.”

It was reported that Xandr had “removed negative flags for conservative media outlets that have blocked them from reaping key advertising dollars amid the corporation launching an internal review and suspending its subscription to a ‘disinformation’ tracking group’s backlist.”

The Examiner also reported that the State Department increasingly has been criticized by Republic lawmakers for its ties to GDI.

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