By Larry Sand
In a recent press release, the American Federation of Teachers announced that it has launched a national partnership with NewsGuard, which the union informs us is a “leading anti-misinformation tool” which protects and champions legitimate journalism and fact-based reporting and “will help educators and their students navigate a sea of online disinformation.” AFT president Randi Weingarten claims that the deal will be a game-changer for the union’s 1.7 million teachers and the tens of millions of children and their families who are currently “drowning in an ocean of online dishonesty.” She adds quite melodramatically, “It is a beacon of clarity to expose the dark depths of the internet and uplift those outlets committed to truth and honesty rather than falsehoods and fabrications.”
But one look at NewsGuard’s lists outs them as leftist advocates, and nothing close to objective. Nine out of the 10 websites on NewsGuard’s “Ten Most Influential Misinformers” list for 2021 lean right, with NewsMax, TheGatewayPundit.com and The Federalist deemed the worst of the worst. On the other hand, “The Ten Top Trustworthy and Trending Sites” are all center- to far-left with NBCNews.com, The New York Times and The Washington Post ranked highest.
The bias of their “anti-disinformation tool” is glaring. A recent study by the Media Research Center (MRC), a conservative media watchdog, reveals that NewsGuard has an “extraordinary” political bias that makes left-wing news outlets more likely to get a better rating. The study found that outlets rated “left” or “lean left” received an average NewsGuard score of 93, while sites considered “right” or “lean right” had an average rating of just 66. The MRC reports that Jacobin, a socialist magazine which calls itself the “leading voice of the American left” and champions such notions as the nationalization of supermarkets, receives a score of 92.5 by NewsGuard. The Nation, also a far-left magazine which has defended the looting and vandalism committed during the widespread riots in the summer of 2020, also has a 92.5 NewsGuard score.
And then there is The New York Times, the #2 rated “Trustworthy and Trending” site. In reality, the Grey Lady may be, historically speaking, the worst, most deceitful newspaper in the country. Most notably The Times and its writer, Walter Duranty, colluded to knowingly overlook the Stalin-led starvation of Ukraine in 1931. The newspaper also went all in for the great Duke University lacrosse team hoax of 2006, which centered around an alleged rape that never happened. And in 2021, the newspaper referred to the blatantly satirical Babylon Bee as a “far-right misinformation site.”
Which brings us back to Randi Weingarten. In December of 2021, New York Times writer Michell Goldberg wrote a glowing piece, initially titled, “Can This Woman Save American Public Education?” The bizarre reference to the union boss was a bridge too far even for The Times, which, after an explosion on social media, quickly renamed the piece “We Desperately Need Schools to Get Back to Normal.” The slobbering content was not changed a whit, however. Among other blatant falsehoods, Weingarten was praised as the woman who has desperately tried to keep schools open during the era of Covid.
Goldberg missed an opportunity to ask Weingarten so many questions. If I had written the column, it may have come out, oh…just a bit differently. Here is a brief sampling of the questions I would have asked the union boss:
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