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The Folly of “Fact Checking” and Dangerous Companies like NewsGuard


This episode condemns the phenomenon of “Fact Checking,” the censorship movement, and especially notes the perfidious intrusion of NewsGuard.


Good morning. I’m Frank Kaufmann, president of the Settlement Project. 

Most thinking Americans have long known that the emergence of what are called fact checkers is not only a violation of common sense, because all news represents the opinion of someone or another. 

It is impossible to have an opinion free or position free posture vis-a-vis information. With news what is required is that listeners educate themselves, develop their own understanding and opinions about the nature of reality and be able to assess news as we receive it. 

The notion that listeners need to be protected and are incapable of assessing information is in and of itself, even before the advent of the existence of fact checkers, a fully errant and problematic view of the listening audience. It infantilizes the citizenry and each of us have a responsibility to be able to check and double check. All of us know to look at more than one source. But the narrative that’s being perpetrated that somehow members of the citizenry and consumers of news are indoctrinated, or radicalized, or in or in some way forged by “news,” already fails to understand what it means to be an adult citizen in a free democracy. 

What has arisen is a censorial impulse to “fact check” what is being put out. On top of this you have Liberal Democrat, elected officials trying to force Big Tech to censor and block information, as though a reader or listener is not able to decide for ourselves what is true, what is false, and what to hold until further information comes. 

There is a fine article describing the “fact checking,” news organization, NewsGuard. The American Federation of Teachers is buying 1.7 million NewsGuard licenses for teachers nationwide. This means that millions of students will be subject to the opinions and the censorship, blocking or affirming information by this self appointed “fact checker.” 1. As I just said, there should be no such thing. 2. The danger is more clearly to be seen when we read of an organization like NewsGuard that has bought its way into the lives of millions of American students through the American Federation of Teachers purchase of millions of licenses for its teachers. 

This is a serious problem. A Revolver piece on NewsGuard points out these dangers. 

This fact and this is the important thing. NewsGuard’s special concern for policing COVID information has to do with the fact that its third largest investor is a multi billion dollar communications company called the Publicist Group. An excellent investigative report on NewsGuard conducted by MintPress News revealed not only Publicist’s shadowy ties to the government of Saudi Arabia, but the fact that pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Bayer-Monsanto are some of Publicis’s, top clients. 

We should be very wary and very cautious about the entire direction of “fact checking.” Get those banners off my posts, get them out of Twitter, out of Facebook. Get Leftist legislators to stop demanding more censorship and more control of information, and allow people to read, listen, and watch and make up our minds for ourselves. We are not children. We are not incapable of understanding the labor it takes to assess the quality of information. 

Thank you very much for listening.