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Mark Alexander / August 10, 2022

The ‘Arbiters of Truth’ Hack The Patriot Post Rating, Again

The news “raters” form leftist fronts to suppress free speech, thus undermining free elections.

“We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.” —John Adams (1797)

What is the greatest threat to fully informed public opinion, and thus the greatest threat to “free and fair elections,” including the upcoming midterm election?

No, it’s not the Demos’ far more egregious bulk-mail ballot fraud used so effectively to hand Joe Biden a massive popular vote win in 2020. That Demo “voter rights” scam involved mailing tens of millions of ballots to last known addresses of registered voters with no confirmation that those addresses were legitimate, much less that the recipient was even living. The ballots that were returned in bulk, then counted, despite the fact that millions of those vote casters were not authenticated — not by ID, not by signature comparison, not by authentication, period.

A fundamental tenet of election integrity is verifying the identity of every voter — something virtually every other Western nation requires except the U.S., where Democrat-controlled states have discarded voter ID requirements for obvious reasons.

No, it’s not even the ballot-harvesting mules suspected to have operated in certain swing states.

So, what is the greatest threat to free and fair elections?

It’s a dark and far more nefarious effort to suppress free speech, and, by extension, suppress voter information.

Read on, because this is the biggest factor in rigged elections, and I will explain how.

You have heard of the so-called “fact-checkers” and “fake news busters” who pose as “journalists” with outfits like USA Today, which has targeted The Patriot Post with fabricated fake fact-checks. Under the pretense of “objective journalism,” their mission is the systemic redlining of free speech — and in ways that are imperceptible to most Americans. They operate primarily under the umbrella of Demo/Leftmedia propagandists who, in recent years, have perfected their scheme to undermine the First Amendment — and, in effect, rig elections.

How do they accomplish this?

The “fact-checkers” and “fake news raters” find a way to flag conservative news platforms for inert and obscure “violations,” then they apply a poor rating to those platforms.

For example, the “media rating” site Media Bias Fact Check, downgraded Patriot Post’s rating because of two failed fact checks, both unrelated to our site. One regarded a claim by a nationally syndicated columnist, not a member of our editorial team – and that column was removed. The second was a fact check by the leftist Snopes outfit, but regarded a parody site with a similar name, not Patriot Post. In fact, Patriot Post has been tagged four times by Snopes, and not one is remotely accurate. Nobody is fact-checking the fact checkers.

Social media platforms, the most influential information networks, use these “objective third-party ratings” to severely restrict the number of people conservative new sites can reach.

Don’t get me wrong: There are some “conservative” platforms that deserve to be buried — like InfoWars, the obscene website of conspiracy narcissist nut Alex Jones.

But the real objective of these checkers and raters is not to target the fringe platforms, but to hit legitimate news platforms. They form leftist fronts to suppress free speech, thus undermining free elections — and ultimately, to ensure Democrat majorities.

One of the most biased “arbiter of truth” outfits is called NewsGuard, a news rating site that you have likely never heard of — but it is significantly influencing what you will never read from conservative websites.

Last week, for example, NewsGuard downgraded Fox News while retaining a perfect rating for CNN, despite the latter having a lengthy history of blatantly biased “reporting” and fake news dissemination. These purveyors of leftist disinformation are, as Donald Trump once declared, the enemy of the people.

Apparently it is not acceptable for Fox News to continue its dominance over CNN and the rest of the leftist cable Demo cabal.

No coincidence that the Fox downgrade came after it had been exposing NewsGuard’s “misinformation” (read: “disinformation”) pacts with organizations like the American Federation of Teachers. Likewise, our NewsGuard inquiry arrived just days after we wrote about their Fox News downgrade.

Hmmm?

Fox’s NewsGuard score dropped precipitously from about 70 out of 100 to 57. Likewise, The Patriot Post’s NewsGuard rating has now dropped from a high score to 59.9.

NewsGuard laughably warns its subscribers to beware of both sites because they fail to meet its “nine journalistic criteria,” a failure that calls for the issuance of this ominous warning: “Proceed with caution: This website fails to adhere to several basic journalistic standards.”

Fox News responded: “NewsGuard is a for-profit organization operating under the guise of an objective public service. Their management and editorial teams rely heavily on left-leaning sourcing to attempt to silence diversity of thought in media. FOX News is proud of the coverage we provide our dedicated viewers, which is why we attract the most politically diverse audience in cable news.”

NewsGuard also downgraded The Washington Free Beacon this week, which wrote an exposé on NewsGuard’s principal ties to the Democrat Party.

The Free Beacon also reminded us that NewsGuard founder Steven Brill bought into the mass media blackout regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop, even publicly declaring, “There’s a high likelihood this story is a hoax, maybe even a hoax perpetrated by the Russians again.” Brill noted that is among the reasons the New York Post, which exposed the truth about Hunter Biden’s laptop and how it connected his dad, the “big guy,” to the Communist Chinese, also has a low NewsGuard rating.

So, if consumers have to pay to subscribe to NewsGuard to see its ratings, which 99.999% of media consumers are not going to do, why does that rating even matter?

Because NewsGuard and a handful of other fact-checkers and news-raters act as surrogates for the mass social media platforms — where the largest number of people get their news. And, as noted previously, if a conservative website has a low rating, Facebook and other social media platforms suppress the reach of our conservative speech.

And, trust me, we well know the impact of these bogus ratings.

The net consequence of the recent BIG Tech assault on The Patriot Post is this: After 25 years of year-over-year growth, which had increased dramatically on social media platforms since 2010, The Patriot Post’s incoming traffic began to drop precipitously in June of 2020. Our incoming traffic from Facebook dropped by more than 95% in a matter of months — the direct result of shadow-banning and suppression of our reach based on biased ratings for our site from Facebook and third parties. As a result, hundreds of thousands of our constituents on Facebook — those who deliberately chose to follow The Patriot Post so they could see our content — and by extension tens-of-millions of their social media followers who can see what they share, are no longer being served our content — and most don’t know it because they are not informed our content is being blocked by Facebook.

This is nothing less than a massive suppression of free speech.

The irony is that, in effect, we and other sites with large followings built Facebook’s customer base, and now leftist Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has decided all those folks we brought to the table shouldn’t see our content.

But, rest assured, he’s still serving them up advertising, which constitutes 25% of what Facebook users see. And in 2020, he used $419 million ad-revenue Zuckerbucks to get Biden elected.

And there is NO recourse as of yet because Republicans in Congress are too busy focusing on “cancel culture,” which is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Cancel culture is a much simpler political soundbite, but it is only a minuscule part of the real speech suppression. The deliberate and systemic suppression of conservative information on social media platforms would make the old Soviet commissars blush.

As the power of media censors rises, the key question becomes: Who will rate the media raters? Until Republicans get beyond the cancel culture soundbites, this suppression will continue unabated.

Unbelievably, there is now a movement by some of the largest Leftmedia news outlets to intentionally blur the line between hard news and analysis/opinion — which outlets like CNN already do unabated. I can assure you it will not impact their NewsGuard rating.

For an inside look at how NewsGuard subjects websites to its biased ratings (attention to our readers who are members of Congress), what follows is an inquiry we received from a young NewsGuard “journalist” this week. He was apparently tasked with, once again, lowering our ratings, but it turns out that this bright young man who perhaps has no idea that he is a small cog on a massive wheel of speech suppression has no academic or professional journalism training.

For the record, nobody on our team is academically or professionally trained as a journalist, and we consider that a strength. All of our writers have hard ties to reality. But if one is charged with assessing the journalistic integrity of a media organization, a modicum of formal training and objective professional oversight should be a prerequisite.

I enter the following excerpts from our response to NewsGuard’s inquiry for the record, to demonstrate how those ratings are used to guard leftist narratives:

To: ….

Congratulations on your recent employment with NewsGuard. As you have only been at this for a short time, for background, a couple comments before getting to your questions.

When we were first contacted by NewsGuard four years ago, I hoped that, unlike the plethora of so-called left-leaning “fact-checkers” who now target conservative freedom of speech, your organization would prove to be something more objective. NewsGuard originally gave us fair ratings. In fact, because some of your organizers had backgrounds with well-established publications, we even used your inquiries to do a better job on our site, especially in the four areas you now cite as downgrades in your rating for our site.

Unfortunately, NewsGuard has devolved into another platform ostensibly “rating” news and opinion sites, which social media platforms then use as an “independent third party” assessment to determine the extent they should shadow ban content. NewsGuard, through Trump’s last year and the COVID lockdowns, has become another mechanism for suppression of free speech.

Thus, here are a few observations about NewsGuard’s rating of PatriotPost.US, which has become increasingly subjective.

NewsGuard accurately describes our publication as “A conservative opinion website primarily covering U.S. politics and culture.” Yet many of the strikes against our site are rooted in differences of opinion with NewsGuard, not factual differences.

For example, last year NewsGuard’s evaluator criticized us for “homophobic” and “transphobic” content — which are very loaded and biased terms to describe a difference of opinion. We responded to the use of those terms but the inquisitor never responded back. Nevertheless, NewsGuard now cites that evaluator’s biased assertion in your assessment.

Regarding the following four areas where you rate us low:

1.) Gathers and presents information responsibly…

We only gather information from reputable sources, though NewsGuard has been, predictably, busy downgrading some of those sources. The recent downgrade of Fox News while giving high marks to CNN is a case in point. Any journalist with an ounce of integrity would be hard pressed to find presentations of “hard news” on CNN that are not, in fact, imbued with their opinion. But because that opinion comports with leftist political and cultural views, it gets a pass.

2.) Regularly corrects or clarifies errors…

You mean like The New York Times and CNN ran the fake news stories claiming Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was bludgeoned to death by Trump protesters? And then, once Nancy Pelosi’s histrionic J6 “Insurrection™ Inquisition” was up and running, the NYT altered its original stories from months earlier to “correct” these unfounded and politically motivated lies, but without clear notation of those corrections.

There are countless failures to note corrections among publications NewsGuard rates high, including CNN where opinion masquerades as fact.

And some “corrections” aren’t. Just one example today is a Newsweek article about the Trump raid which claims a correction. But Newsweek’s correction only notes: “A quote about Garland’s role was deleted after the attorney general himself addressed the issue.” In fact, the unidentified quote Newsweek removed, was an unsubstantiated blockbuster assertion that AG Garland had “no prior knowledge” that the search warrant would be executed, when in fact, he signed off on it. That was patently false. But you would NOT know that was the false information removed by Newsweek.

(Update: After we posted this article, Newsweek corrected their “correction” to read: “A quote that mischaracterized Garland’s role was deleted. Newsweek regrets the error.” That is still far short of explaining their egregious misrepresentation of Garland’s role, but it won’t effect NewsGuard’s admiration of Newsweek.)

You suggest we do not correct errors but you have no basis for that claim. In fact, every error brought to our attention IS corrected if validated, and such corrections noted in conjunction with the “Updated” notice in the article. You will find plenty of “Update” references on our site, mostly related to the addition of new information or links to helpful third-party content to keep our readers better informed.

A correction should be made to an assertion that is patently and factually incorrect, but a difference of opinion does not constitute a factual inaccuracy, as NewsGuard asserts.

3.) Reveals who’s in charge, including any possible conflicts of interest…

Remarkably, you cite BuzzFeed as a source for your assessment of who is in charge. That would be the same BuzzFeed that published the fake Trump/Russia dossier, produced by the DNC in cooperation with Hillary Clinton. As intended, that launched three years of investigations and an effort to impeach Trump for what Joe Biden actually did as vice president, until it was [totally debunked by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. (Regarding BuzzFeed, I refer you to “Beyond BuzzFeed: The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump-Russia Story” by journalist Glenn Greenwald.)

Additionally, the fact is, our About pages do a good job of clearly establishing ownership and who is in charge. This information has been publicly available since our inception in 1996. On the other hand, decoding ownership and who is in charge of big news platforms is far more complicated and obscured, particularly given the invisible influence of advertisers on their editorial content.

4.) The site provides names of content creators, along with either contact or biographical information

I presume this markdown is in reference to the fact that, from our inception, some of our writers have used pseudonyms. This use is also explained on our About pages, though the concept of “humilitas” is anathema to most scribes and talkingheads today, who consider their byline a projection of their ego. Accurate author bios are included for all of our regular writers, and it is very easy to contact our authors with links at the bottom of every article we publish.

These points notwithstanding, I expect no better ratings from NewsGuard because you have become part of the cancel culture mosaic. But perhaps NewsGuard will reconsider restoring the well-earned good ratings we had initially.

To answer your questions:

1.) What exactly is the site’s ownership structure? Do you own the site through Publius Press Inc., or is it owned in a different way?

Answer: Again, the fact is, our About pages do a good job of establishing ownership and who is in charge. This has been publicly available since our inception in 1996. I own Publius Press, which publishes The Patriot Post.

2.) Many Patriot Post articles described the participants in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol Building as unarmed. Articles such as the January 2022 article “Biden Takes the Low Road on J6,” the November 2021 article “The Russia Hoax Unravels,” and the September 2021 article “Why Is Mark Milley Still Employed?” describe the event as an “unarmed non-insurrection.”

But a number of people who stormed the Capitol were in fact armed. As of October 2021, an NPR database showed that at least 23 people had been charged with possessing a deadly or dangerous weapon, and three had been charged with possessing a gun on Capitol grounds. A March 2021 NPR article noted that “this number is likely a low estimate of the total number of weapons the rioters brought with them” because authorized security officials did not conduct widespread security screenings or weapon checks that day.

Answer: If by “many articles” you mean three by the same author, OK. The common understanding of the word “armed” does not relate to any “weapon” but to a firearm. Armed does not commonly refer to possession of a stick, a flag pole or some other instrument that could be used as a weapon. These articles reference possession of a firearm in the Capitol Building, not on the Capitol grounds as the NPR article notes.

3.) The April 2022 article “The Campaign Against Misinformation Is Disinformation” stated, “The lab leak origin theory of the virus was condemned as misinformation, as was data showing that drugs like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine could be used to successfully treat the disease.” Similarly, the January 2022 article “Politicizing COVID-19 From the Start” stated, “The use of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin was widely ridiculed, despite continuing studies from abroad attesting to their usefulness.”

However, scientific evidence has not shown that hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin are effective at treating or preventing COVID-19, a position echoed by national and international health authorities and even ivermectin developer Merck. Also, many studies that claimed that ivermectin was effective have been found to have fabricated or manipulated data to reach that conclusion.

Answer: I suppose hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin are now key search words that are used to flag sites for “fake news” associate with the ChiCom Virus pandemic. You will note that we have not advocated for the use of one or the other, but we have advocated the vaccines among high-risk groups, while strenuously objecting to mandates for low-risk groups. That being said, the articles you reference are BOTH from reputable syndicated OPINION columnists. Perhaps you don’t recognize the names of highly respected nationally known conservative columnists? We don’t correct syndicated content.

4.) The July 2022 article “Conspiracy FACT: The Great Reset” quoted a November 2020 Breitbart article as saying: “Put simply, [the Great Reset] is the blueprint for a complete transformation of the world economy. There will be no money, no private property, no democracy. Instead, every key decision — what you do for a living, how much stuff you consume, whether you can take a vacation — will [be] decided for you by a remote, unaccountable elite of ‘experts.’” However, none of the proposals delivered at the June 2020 World Economic Forum meeting and posted on the World Economic Forum website mentions the abolition of money and democracy, or the confiscation of private property.

Answer: This is a classic example of flagging opinion and analysis for a nonsense “fact-check.” Of course the World Economic Forum doesn’t spell things out the way a conservative columnist would in an opinion piece assessing that agenda. That is clearly an interpretation of an agenda, and we quoted a “columnist” who “described” it as such. This is a nitpick that, again, does not tolerate divergent opinion but is used to downgrade a site rating. It certainly does not warrant a “correction.” A correction should be made to an assertion that is patently and factually incorrect, but a difference of opinion does not constitute a factual inaccuracy, as NewsGuard asserts.

5.) The May 2022 article “‘Disinformation Governance Board’ Furthers Our Present Orwellian Matrix” stated, “Second, people are now seeing documentary proof evidence of industrial-scale vote fraud that drove an illegitimate outcome in the November 2020 elections.”

But there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Top election officials in all 50 states affirmed the integrity of the 2020 election, according to a New York Times report. Then-Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press on Dec. 1, 2020, that “we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”

Answer: This was another syndicated columnist. The offending passage seems to be an oblique reference to Dinesh D'Souza’s documentary, though Scott Powell (the writer) doesn’t name it. However, you assert “no evidence of widespread voter fraud” and I suppose that’s in the eye of the beholder. Powell calls the election an “illegitimate outcome,” and that could certainly be argued — in large part thanks to “fact-checkers” who suppressed stories about Joe Biden’s corruption revealed on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Fact is, more than half of American voters have to produce a legitimate ID to vote, a pretty basic standard. If you accept the standard that voters should be identified and verified, then the bulk-mail balloting in the 2020 election, virtually none of which required voter verification, could most certainly be considered fraudulent.

Finally, you may believe yourself to be an “objective journalist” and you may strive to be just that. But there is nothing objective about what NewsGuard has become — what we assumed it might become — a partisan “arbiter of truth,” now part of the disgraceful cancel culture and oppressors of free speech you claim to support.

(Updated)

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

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