Deception & Misdirection

NewsGuard and Uncle Sam: History-Making Hoaxes

NewsGuard and Uncle Sam: Just the Beginning of the End for the First Amendment? (full series)
The Nutrition Label | Vitamin Deficient Nutrition
History-Making Hoaxes | Disclosure

History-Making Hoaxes

The combined margin of victory for President Biden in Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, and Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District was just over 65,000 votes. This means just 33,000 swing voters in those places decided the 2020 election. If not for NewsGuard’s 100 percent “pure nutrition” and “high credibility” media covering up the Hunter Biden story until after the election, might those critical swing voters have voted the other way?

It wasn’t the only disinformation example that might have made a difference.

The emergence of the pandemic was clearly an event that altered the 2020 election. Many if not most of NewsGuard’s pure nutrition sources also joined together (until after the election, of course) to squelch the theory—promoted most prominently by President Trump—that the pandemic resulted from a lab leak.

One example of many is the Washington Post, which denounced the lab leak as a “conspiracy theory.”[1] This drumbeat clearly had the effect of damaging Trump’s credibility and leadership on arguably the most important issue of the election. Yet today, Trump’s initial assertion is now widely accepted as a possible, and even probable, explanation for the pandemic’s origin.

Afterwards, like the others, when it was too late to undo the pre-election damage, the Washington Post and all the guilty parties retracted their wrong information. This is what NewsGuard means by having “effective practices for correcting errors” and perversely wins the offending parties 12.5 points toward their 100 percent nutrition labels.

Feeding everyone bad nutrition, causing irreparable harm—is it really fine if they just say “oops!” later? If changing history by publishing errors isn’t the worst-case scenario for “misinformation,” what is?

Perhaps the greatest of the history-making hoaxes from the 100 percent pure nutrition crowd was the allegation that Trump and his associates colluded with the Russian government to win the 2016 election. To take just two of countless wretched examples, the Washington Post and New York Times shared a Pulitzer Prize for their “deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.”

The Pulitzer commendation now reads like a “thank you” note from the Biden campaign, albeit for a service that won’t show up on an Federal Election Commission report.

In a related development, the Washington Post notched two of left-leaning journalist Glenn Greenwald’s 10 “Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump-Russia Story.” Several other 100 percent nutrition sources also made the list, and the New York Times snagged an honorable mention.[2]

How much damage and how many votes did this relentless parade of fabrications influence? Seven months before the 2020 election, a Harvard-Harris poll revealed 53 percent of Americans still thought the Trump collusion allegations contained in the Steele dossier were true.[3]

Buzzfeed, the reckless news source that first released the Steele dossier, has a 100 percent nutrition label. The Intercept, the left-leaning investigative news source where Greenwald exposed the worst of the hoax perpetrators, has only an 80 percent rating.

In the next installment, the NewsGuard nutrition labels should not be trusted to educate schoolchildren or anyone else on healthy news consumption.


[1] Tom Porter, “The Washington Post Corrected an Article That Described COVID-19 Emerging from a Wuhan Lab as a ‘Conspiracy Theory’ and ‘Debunked,’” Business Insider, June 2, 2021,

[2] Glenn Greenwald, “Beyond BuzzFeed: The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump-Russia Story,” The Intercept, January 20, 2019,

[3] Ken Braun, “The FBI’s Bad Apples: The Bureau’s Worst Days Are Worth Remembering,” Capital Research Center, August 10, 2022,

Ken Braun

Ken Braun is CRC’s senior investigative researcher and authors profiles for and the Capital Research magazine. He previously worked for several free market policy organizations, spent six…
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