Opinion / Politics

NBC Tries and Fails to Wreck a Conservative Website. Here’s Why It’s Deeply Problematic.

NBCIf you value a robust media offering a variety of voices, you should be troubled by a chilling incident that occurred this week.

Citing the work of two foreign-based activist groups, NBC News reported Tuesday that Google would demonetize a conservative news and opinion outlet, The Federalist–meaning not allow it to carry Google Ads on its site.

Why? Because of The Federalist’s coverage of the George Floyd protests.

Later that day, Google clarified that its specific issue was the comments section below articles on The Federalist, not the articles themselves. When The Federalist removed its comments section, Google said it considered the issue resolved.

This episode shows how a media outlet such as NBC News apparently is willing to collude with radicals alongside one of the world’s most powerful tech companies to ruin the competition.

“Google’s ban of the websites [The Federalist and financial blog ZeroHedge] comes after the company was notified of research conducted by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a British nonprofit that combats online hate and misinformation,” NBC initially reported, according to Fox News. “They found that 10 U.S-based websites have published what they say are racist articles about the [Floyd/ Black Lives Matter] protests, and projected that the websites would make millions of dollars through Google Ads.”

NBC worked with two left-wing advocacy organizations as sources in its reporting: the Center for Countering Digital Hate and Stop Funding Fake News.

NBC reported that Google blocked The Federalist from its advertising platform after NBC brought the project to its attention. The tech giant already had demonetized ZeroHedge, it reported.

“When a page or site violates our policies, we take action,” an unnamed Google spokesman told NBC. “In this case, we’ve removed both sites’ ability to monetize with Google.”

Shortly after NBC published its article, Google denied demonetizing The Federalist. Google said the issue was that The Federalist’s comments section, maintained by a third party, paired Google Ads with “dangerous or derogatory content” there.

Google said nothing about The Federalist’s articles, as NBC initially claimed in its report, which was changed significantly—although not retracted—after publication.

And although The Federalist removed the comments section below the pieces on its website, founders Ben Domenech and Sean Davis vow to bring back comments.

For full disclosure, I have written for The Federalist and my wife, Inez Stepman, is a senior contributor at the publication.

Unfortunately, the issues involved in this story are much bigger than a single NBC report.

The reporter who wrote the story, London-based Adele-Momoko Fraser, did little to hide the fact that she worked in “collaboration”—her words in a now-deleted tweet—with far-left groups.

Later, Fraser changed her tune and said on Twitter that she obtained her research “exclusively” from Stop Funding Fake News, but didn’t “collaborate” with them.

Regardless of what actually happened, this is deeply troubling.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that these brute-force tactics to curb speech will end here. Far from it.

wrote in 2018 how YouTube—which is owned by Google—partnered with the Southern Poverty Law Center to police content under YouTube’s “trusted flagger program.”

The SPLC is notorious for making wild and exaggerated claims about mainstream conservative organizations, lumping them in as “hate groups” with extremist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.

Last year, YouTube effectively censored the words of a medical doctor who writes about children and gender identity issues. She had said in a Daily Signal video: “See, if you want to cut off a leg or an arm, you’re mentally ill, but if you want to cut off healthy breasts or a penis, you’re transgender.”

Rob Bluey, vice president for communications at The Heritage Foundation and executive editor of The Daily Signal, criticized the actions of NBC and Google and said all Americans should be appalled.

This whole episode has disturbing implications for the free exchange of ideas in America, where the “cancel culture” of college campuses has been injected into the mainstream of our national political discourse.

The Federalist successfully fought back. But as noted by its  founders, could they have done so if they didn’t already have a significant public megaphone?

In a commentary published by The Wall Street Journal, Domenech and Davis lambaste what they call an attack “not only individuals but free speech itself”:

NBC News colluded with a foreign left-wing group [Stop Funding Fake News] in an attempt to destroy us because it disagrees with our political commentary and media criticism. The episode illustrates how dangerous the combination of partisan media and monopolistic tech companies is to America. We survived the attack because our organization is well known.

NBC’s failed attempt at bullying The Federalist is just another example of how social justice warriors have taken hold of newsrooms, using the immense power of their positions to squash voices that dare to contest the all-important “narrative.”

It’s the narrative, rather than pursuit of the truth, that’s been prioritized.

Activists on the far left want to control how and what people think. Dissent is problematic; debate ensures that not everyone will come to the “correct” conclusions.

It’s far more effective simply to silence the opposition.

My colleague Mike Gonzalez, author of the forthcoming book “The Plot to Change America: How Identity Politics is Dividing the Land of the Free,” recently wrote that the far left is manipulating language and using activists in media institutions “to make it impossible for conservatives to openly discuss their policy remedies to the ills besetting society.”

Absolutely.

If this trend continues unabated, we will lose our grip on our culture of free speech—and our free society along with it.

Reprinted with Permission from - Daily Signal by - Jarrett Stepman

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Reba
6 months ago

I wish someone would start a conservative social media to combat these other ones like Facebook.

Dave
6 months ago

I remember in the 2016 election, NBC had Hillary Clinton up by 13 points and vowed no Presidential candidate has ever come back from 13 point behind., NBC and other dunderhead news networks never tire from poll stupidity.

Dave
6 months ago

 

par
6 months ago

NBC and especially CNBC are so far left they have difficulty of standing up. Especially for anything correct.

Karla
6 months ago

I posted, and reposted, this article on facebook who has decided to target this as an unacceptable political article. Just FYI!

BillBoy Baggins
6 months ago

My colleague Mike Gonzalez, . . . recently wrote that the far left is manipulating language . . . Those who control the language, control the culture.

Peter B
6 months ago

This affront by NBC & Google is nothing new. What is new is the smuggery to do this thinking it will not be confronted. The left is counting on the new ‘silenced majority’ to keep taking it. From their point of view conservatives do not have the courage to confront bullies. The left is nothing more than a new kind of Hitler–spread out like tentacles through organizations like the alphabet news platforms and social medias along with the new brand of useful idiots in training who have recently ‘woke.’ It is unfortunate that liberals get lumped into the left. I suggest we wecome them with a copy of the constitution–something they used to herald that they defended. Where are they now?

Word of Truth
6 months ago

I’m kind if ignorant on this. Why is it that everyone has to go through Leftist companies like Google/You Tube to be on the internet? Is there no conservative-aligned alternative?

David L
6 months ago

Americans need to read and be aware of a broad spectrum of ideas which is currently not the case. The 6 major media companies need to be broken up into many smaller companies so that there is more variety of positions and opinions in their publications and broadcasts.Major media companies should not own national tv networks, newspapers, magazines, and radio stations together in a conglomerate corporation or company. We need to guarantee Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Speech by making the entire media structure more competitive to improve a greater variety of opinions and positions. Currently, many of the 6 major networks have become the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party which is not in the best interests of Americans. These companies frequently lie, omit, distort, and/or not report on stories that do not conform to there political beliefs. I would recommend that the Federal government terminate funding for National Pubic Radio and PBS to eliminate any political party using these media platforms for their own political party’s advantage. We need to guarantee a free press that is not aligned with any political party.

Kevin
6 months ago

It’s very easy folks. Stop watching NBC. Then if ABC steps in, stop watching that channel, etc. My additional suggestion is if you have not already or have not heard about this, is to download “The Chosen” in the app store or Google apps and watch it. You will be glad you did. I can’t stop watching it. BTW, now for me it’s “what is NBC”? I’m done with them, have been for a long time, including sports. Stop the support stops the money…………..

Pat R
6 months ago

“cancel culture” of college campuses has been injected into the mainstream of our national political discourse.” It took 3-5 generations for college graduates to be in positions of power and authority throughout business, government, etc. Communist Manifesto (pre-1960s) blatantly set forth steps to destroy the US from within – it’s been followed to the letter via our education system. It can be undone the same way, but will take time as well.

Tim c
6 months ago

I suggest a boycott of NBC and anyone that advertise with them. Attack them at the financial level words do not work.

Ed H
6 months ago

This is what happens when you deal with the devil. I don’t understand why any conservative web site would accept ads from left wing companies which are the enemies of everything conservative.
Either we fight for conservatism or we surrender. Get a clue.

Ed H
6 months ago

 

Brian White
6 months ago

It’s crap like this BS from Google & NBC that make me get rid of anything Google in my life (and no, I don’t use the Google search engine) as well as blocking any NBC channel on my TV. (I’ve already blocked ABC, CBS, FOX, Netflix, OPROH [lunatic], and several others to rid my life of the TDS every single one of these “news outlets” or virtue-signaling Obama-employing Democrat ideology pushing shows.

J T Mathis
6 months ago

I tried to + some comments and could not. Is this a google trick?

Len Calderone
6 months ago

The first amendment gives all speech racist or not the freedom to be heard.

Richard
6 months ago

Well, ya know what, every single article written about George Floyd is racist. It’s trying to ascribe race to an incident with a known bad cop and a known criminal. I’m really tired of the media trying to look at EVERYTHING through a racist lens. Enough! The real story is “bad cop goes out of control and kills suspect for invalid reason.” Done, page 13 news, film at 11.

Rick F.
6 months ago

For years I said that msn were diabolical enemies of Our United States Constitution. President Trump turned on the light in the swamp and off comes the masks. But their still running the theater. Over run the system to distract from all their corruption and deny justice at the expense of Americas Liberties.

Dennis Jackson Sr
6 months ago

From what I see and hear. The big media are as racist in their opinions as it can get. Trying to silence an opposing view is itself racist and bigoted.