NewsGuard 2.0: ‘Media Bias’ Tracker ‘Ad Fontes’ Overwhelmingly Favors Leftist Media

NewsGuard 2.0: ‘Media Bias’ Tracker ‘Ad Fontes’ Overwhelmingly Favors Leftist Media

Ad Fontes, a company that purports to rank the bias and trustworthiness of news source, is itself overwhelmingly biased in favor of leftist media, per analysis from the Media Research Center (MRC).

Over the past several years, a number of “media rating” agencies have sprung up which purport to rank the accuracy and bias of news companies.

Virtually all of them, like the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) end up functioning as blacklists, used to advise advertisers and tech companies which news outlets to demonetize and suppress. Now, the spotlight is on another such company: Ad Fontes.

Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz, co-CEOs of NewsGuard

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

Founded in 2018 at the height of the “disinformation” panic, Ad Fontes maintains a regularly-updated list of media outlets, ranked by their levels of “bias” and “reliability.”

The Media Research Center conducted a deep dive into Ad Fontes’ list and the methodology behind it, finding extensive evidence of bias.

View Newsbusters:

Ad Fontes deemed the bulk of media it labeled as on the “left” to be fully “reliable,” including CNN, The New York Times, ABC, CBS and NBC, while only rewarding less than one third of media it labeled as on the “right” to be “reliable,” including The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, National Post and CATO Institute.

  • Ad Fontes gave 64 percent of media it considered to be on the left as reliable, while only rating 32 percent of media it labeled on the right as reliable.

  • Ad Fontes is 10 times more likely to give its lowest rating of “unreliable” to media on the right as it is to give this badge of shame to media on the left. Ad Fontes rated only 2.9 percent of media it considered on the left as “unreliable,” while it rated 29 percent of media it labeled on the right as “unreliable.”

Moreover, the methodology that Ad Fontes uses to rank media outlets is shrouded in mystery. Ad Fontes says it deploys teams of three individuals, one from the political right, one from the left, and one from the center, to assess media outlets. Yet Ad Fontes never reveals who these people are.

The service also offers a “media filter” allowing outside organizations to sort media companies by the race and sex of their audience and owners.

Ad Fontes’s bias is even more pronounced when using its “media filters.” These “filters” are meant to allow advertisers to segregate media by race and sexual orientation of both ownership and audience in part of what Ad Fontes champions as “DEI.” DEI—literally, an acronym for “diversity, equity, and inclusion”—is a left-wing philosophy that prioritizes group identity and quota systems over merit and individuality.

In order to remain competitive under Ad Fontes’s DEI “filters,” an outlet would need to identify the racial composition of its ownership, hosts or target audience, and then champion it so as to ensure Ad Fontes’s diversity scorers could spot it. Engaging in such behavior would be antithetical to conservative ideals, but par for the course for legacy media and other leftist media that have long abandoned American ideals like equality and meritocracy.

The organization has itself made politicized statements. According to MRC, Ad Fontes released a statement welcoming the indictment of Donald Trump, while top Ad Fontes official Brad Berens has called for increased social media censorship. Berens also wrote to social media companies urging them to ban Donald Trump.

In the letter, per MRC, Berens wrote that he had a “a persistent fantasy of seeing Donald Trump’s favorite color on a jumpsuit he is forced to wear.”

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. Follow him on Twitter @AllumBokhari

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