Time for conservative media to defy NewsGuard, the left’s fact-checkers

In 1989, Boris Yeltsin, newly elected to the new Soviet parliament, visited a grocery store near Houston, Texas, and marveled at the abundance and selection of food. He was particularly taken by the frozen pudding pops. If Soviet citizens saw American grocery stores, he noted, “there would be a revolution.”

Thanks to President Biden’s mismanagement of the economy, Americans are getting the Soviet grocery store experience. Aisle after aisle of empty shelves, and with skyrocketing inflation, the scant food that is on the shelves is shockingly expensive. 

ForAmerica, the grassroots organization where I serve as president, drives policy discussions by ridiculing the left’s failures. Our motto is “Never give the left a free day.” There are real-world consequences to the left’s misguided ideas, and we use humor on social media and podcasts to explain the failed policies responsible for Americans’ day-to-day frustrations. 

Empty grocery shelves across our great nation? Of course, we were going to step in with humor.

Back in 2021, at the height of the Empty Shelf Era, ForAmerica tweeted a picture of an empty shelf with Vice President Kamala Harris and Mr. Biden saying, “We did this.” Funny because it’s true. 

The humorless left, however, took offense at our Twitter picture. The censor group NewsGuard, which rates websites’ “credibility” (applying their own definition of truth, naturally), has put us on notice that we are guilty of spreading misinformation. 

Why? Because America doesn’t have empty shelves? Because Mr. Biden’s policies haven’t contributed to shortages? No, because we had used a picture of empty store shelves during a Houston ice storm. 

As anyone who has lived through food shortages can tell you, there’s a universality to empty shelves. An empty shelf in Houston isn’t materially different than an empty shelf in Detroit. But this is what occupies NewsGuard’s censors’ time. 

NewsGuard’s mission is not to elevate journalism or advance the First Amendment. The organization, instead, uses an insidious “credibility” score to scare away prospective advertisers from conservative websites. Who wants to advertise on a fake news site, right? At least, that’s the thinking. NewsGuard also offers a handy censorship tool in the form of a web browser extension that alerts users to the credibility score of sites, to dissuade readers from spending time on conservative sites. 

On NewsGuard’s illustrious score system, The New York Times earned a 100% “credibility” rating, while news sites that don’t carry the left’s water, such as Fox News, The Washington Times and the New York Post earned an average of 66%, according to a report from Media Research Center. 

I was disappointed to learn that ForAmerica had a 70% rating from NewsGuard — not because we were 30 points shy of The New York Times, but, rather, because we had 70 points on a scale so skewed that The New York Times is the gold standard. 

There are areas where the truth is off-limits for the left. COVID-19 reality, abortion and Mr. Biden’s failures are just three areas where the truth undermines the left’s agenda — and, therefore, will not be tolerated. 

As I have reflected on ForAmerica’s miserably high score of 70, I have come to realize that the way conservatives should handle the zealous censors is not to grovel and play the fact-checking game. We should, instead, shrug and keep telling the truth. NewsGuard’s temper tantrum and shouts of “Liar, liar, pants on fire” only work as long as we appear to care. 

The truths worth defending are the very truths the left is so determined to deny. I’m renewing my commitment at ForAmerica to be the voice of the truths the left wants to suppress. 

Abortion is the ending of an innocent life. The COVID-19 lockdowns were a mistake, and we never should have kicked children out of school during the pandemic. Election integrity laws don’t prevent people from voting. Gun control won’t work. Our elevated gas prices are the direct result of the left’s war on the oil-and-gas industry. Mr. Biden’s presidency is a joke, and a nightmare, depending on the day. Boys cannot become girls. There are gender differences. Walls work. 

Yes, these are all truths worth defending.

I, for one, will not stop proclaiming these truths until ForAmerica has a 0% truth score from NewsGuard. And to those conservatives who helm organizations in our media ecosystem: I encourage you to set the same high bar for your own operation.

Conservatism should be as far from The New York Times as possible. If The New York Times is considered 100% “credible” by NewsGuard, why would you settle for anything more than a zero? 

• David Bozell is the president of ForAmerica.

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