State Dept. 'campaign against disinformation' targets conservative outlets

May 21, 2023

While Republicans and the White House continue to clash over government spending, there is one use of tax dollars that has left some critics shaking their heads.

According to the Washington Examiner, the Biden administration is paying for a so-called anti-disinformation campaign.

Money spent on training foreign journalists for a "campaign against disinformation"

The paper cited State Department documents it obtained which show that a Bolivian non-profit group has been allocated over $37,000 for a "campaign against disinformation."

Bolivia's Foundation for Journalism is seeking to create a "network of 150 journalists and mass communicators specialized in combating disinformation."

However, that is only part of a larger $1.9 million effort by the State Department to recruit and train reporters in 16 European and Central Asian countries.

What's more, the Examiner reported earlier this year that the State Department provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Global Disinformation Index (GDI).

GDI accuses conservatives of spreading disinformation, calls liberal sources "least risky"

Based in the United Kingdom, the organization has accused conservative publicans of peddling disinformation. Its targets include the Examiner along with the New York Post, the Federalist, and RealClearPolitics.

In contrast, GDI characterizes left-wing media outlets such as NPR, BuzzFeed News, The New York Times, and HuffPost as being some of the "least risky sites."

In addition to attacking what it categorizes as disinformation, the group also supports advertiser boycotts of publications which oppose abortion or critique the feminist movement.

"The Global Disinformation Index (GDI) has examined examples of brands that inadvertently fund misogynistic disinformation across news sites," it states.

"Narratives captured that represent such misogyny include that women are 'predisposed to be gentle and quiet,' the feminist movement has 'destabilised Western society,' abortion equates to 'genocide,' and women belonging in a 'domestic caretaker' role, rather than being apart of the workforce," the group insists.

Former Trump official says State Department is engaged in "censorship laundering"

Mike Benz served as State Department deputy assistant secretary of international communications and information technology under former President Donald Trump, and he found the report disturbing.

"The problem here is that the State Department engaged in 'censorship laundering,'" Benz was quoted as telling the Examiner. "Programs designed to target disinformation abroad end up beefing up programs and partnerships targeting U.S. citizen discourse at home."

Meanwhile, South Carolina Republican Rep. Ralph Norman called the program "a boondoggle," adding, "We've got enough disinformation in this country that this administration has done."

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