NewsGuard Ignores Durham Report, Continues to Praise Russiagate Hoaxsters
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It has been over two weeks since the publication of the Durham report hammered the final nail in the coffin of a years-long panic, largely fomented by the media, about connections between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Yet organizations that advertise themselves as impartial media watchdogs, like NewsGuard, appear to have taken little notice.

The Durham report concluded that evidence of “Russian collusion” was so thin that the FBI lacked any basis to even begin its investigation into Donald Trump.

Special Counsel John H. Durham slammed that the FBI’s decision to investigate based on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence,” its “predisposition to open an investigation into Trump,” and its  “noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign.”

Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz, co-CEOs of NewsGuard

Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz, co-CEOs of NewsGuard (D Dipasupil and Stephen Chernin /Getty)

The Associated Press

Special counsel John Durham, the prosecutor appointed to investigate potential government wrongdoing in the early days of the Trump-Russia probe, leaves federal court in Washington, May 16, 2022. Durham ended his four-year investigation into possible FBI misconduct in its probe of ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The report Monday, May 15, 2023, from Durham offers withering criticism of the bureau but a meager court record that fell far short of the former president’s prediction he would uncover the “crime of the century.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Breitbart News reached out to NewsGuard to get their verdict on the Durham report. Does it put to rest any question of the legitimacy of the Trump Russia collusion claim? If not, what would it take?

And if it does, how can NewsGuard, which supposedly exists to inform consumers about the reliability of news publishers, adequately inform the public about the scale of the media’s failure in this story, which had a colossal impact on American politics?

Not to mention the failure of the Pulitzer Prize board, which gave the New York Times and Washington Post the highest award in journalism for their work fueling the Trump-Russia panic.

NewsGuard gave Breitbart News no response to these inquiries. There is also scant acknowledgement of the scale of the media’s failing in its reviews of news publishers.

The New York Times, which continues to stand by its Russiagate reporting, receives a perfect 100-out-of-100 score from NewsGuard. In its assessment of the New York Times, NewsGuard mentions that the newspaper won a Pullitzer for its reporting on “Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election,” but makes no mention of the Durham report or the wider collapse of the Trump-Russia collusion case.
Its review of The Washington Post is a little more transparent, noting the newspaper’s acknowledgement of its failures in reporting on the discredited Steele Dossier, a fabricated account of Vladimir Putin collecting blackmail material on Trump that was widely covered in the media. Despite this colossal error, the Washington Post also gets a perfect 100 rating from NewsGuard. So does the defunct BuzzFeed News, which originally reported on the dossier.

As Breitbart News has reported before, the legitimate publishers that tend to receive low ratings from NewsGuard are conservative news sites that have exposed partisan media narratives like Russiagate, and reported on stories the media prefers to discredit or ignore, like Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Breitbart News has a rating of 49.5 percent  from NewsGuard. Fox News has a rating of 69.5 percent. The Spectator has 62 percent. The Federalist has just 12.5 percent.

NewsGuard co-founder Steven Brill personally contributed to the years-long media hysteria about “Russian interference” when in a CNBC broadcast shortly before the 2020 election, he speculated that the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story may have been a “hoax perpetrated by the Russians.”

In prior comments to Breitbart News, Newsguard general manager Matt Skibinski has defended Brill’s comments regarding the Hunter Biden laptop story.

“Steve Brill argued that big tech platforms’ censorship of the New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop was misguided, and that social media platforms should not have prevented the story from being posted or shared. He said, ‘It doesn’t matter what I think — what matters is that people ought to be able to read [the story] and decide, and they can decide by reading and comparing what the New York Post says to what lots of other media institutions say.’”

Republicans have had enough with protestations from NewsGuard – a recipient of taxpayer funding through the Pentagon – that it is nonpartisan.

House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who promised to investigate the Pentagon funding, has called NewsGuard “a liberal organization, funded by liberal groups…. trying to discredit conservative information.” Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), until recently chairman of the Republican Study Committee, has condemned NewsGuard for its “extreme partisan bias.”

 Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.

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