The State Department-backed National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has cut ties with a “disinformation” monitoring group after it was revealed the organization was targeting non-liberal and conservative news organizations.
Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley, who helped expose the controversial program, celebrated the announcement that a “biased” group won’t receive funds from NED going forward.
“I was contacted by the National Endowment to say that they are withdrawing any further funding,” Turley said on “America Reports.”
“That’s a commendable decision because it was, in my view, overly biased,” he continued. “It ranked the 10 most dangerous sites for disinformation and virtually all of them were conservative or libertarian sites.”
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Earlier this month, the Washington Examiner reported that a British organization called the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) with ties to a pair of American nonprofits is “feeding blacklists to ad companies with the intent of defunding and shutting down websites peddling alleged ‘disinformation.’”
GDI gathers a “dynamic exclusion list” that it provides to major companies such as Microsoft’s Xandr, according to the report that cites emails as evidence. GDI has also identified the 10 “riskiest” news organizations, including the New York Post, which broke the Hunter Biden laptop story that was censored by Big Tech and falsely dismissed as Russian disinformation in some media outlets. RealClearPolitics, Reason and the Federalist are also among the websites named.
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The National Endowment for Democracy – one of the American nonprofits involved — caught wind of the news and decided to stop providing cash to the GDI.
NED vice president of communications Leslie Aun told the Examiner that the group’s “mandate is to work around the world and not in the United States” and shouldn’t be involved in domestic politics.
“Recently, we became aware that one of our grantees, the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), was engaged in an initiative, funded by a different donor, that focused on specific U.S. media outlets,” Aun continued. “We recognize the important work GDI has done with NED support in other countries to help preserve the integrity of the information space and counter authoritarian influence. However, given our commitment to avoid the perception that NED is engaged in any work domestically, directly or indirectly, we will no longer provide financial support to GDI.”
NED did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
“The major development comes after the group briefed the House Foreign Affairs Committee and one other committee on Thursday, seeking to clarify that its grants were not allotted for the Global Disinformation Index’s conservative blacklists, a congressional source told the Washington Examiner. The NED’s fresh actions will not affect 2020 and 2021 grants to the Global Disinformation Index, which have already been spent, according to another source close to the group,” Examiner reporter Gabe Kaminsky wrote.
On Monday, a former special adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s State Department said financial support for the program needed to be shut down.
“Programs like this continue until there is pushback on the government’s partisan activities,” POLARIS National Security executive director Gabriel Noronha, told Fox News Digital.