Disinformation Inc: State Department silent on if it will cut ties with conservative blacklist group
- March 1, 2023
Gabe Kaminsky, Washington Examiner
A government group housed under the State Department won’t say whether it will commit to no longer allocating future grants to an organization blacklisting conservative media outlets.
The State Department-affiliated Global Engagement Center, a government inter-agency aiming to fight foreign “disinformation” and “propaganda,” awarded $100,000 in 2021 to the Global Disinformation Index, the Washington Examiner reported. However, this same entity has been silent on whether it will cut ties with GDI, despite the National Endowment for Democracy, which gave roughly $545,000 to it between 2020 and 2021, announcing it won’t fund the self-styled “disinformation” tracker moving forward.
“The Global Engagement Center’s award to the Global Disinformation Index was closed on 15 March 2022,” a State Department spokesperson told the Washington Examiner. “No further work is planned.”
“There are legitimate national security concerns with hostile foreign powers spreading disinformation to undermine the United States that must be addressed,” Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, an ethics watchdog, told the Washington Examiner. “However, it is apparent that certain arms of government have used that justification to turn their focus on the free speech of American citizens, often for expressing views that are merely controversial or are contrary to the prevailing narrative.”
“Until the government stops acting as the default venture capitalist for the disinformation industry, this skepticism toward traditionally acceptable government programs is likely to persist,” added Chamberlain, whose group filed several public records requests on Feb. 22 to obtain records on government funding to GDI.