Conservative Media Outlets Sue the Biden Administration For Funding Censorship Schemes
The Daily Wire and The Federalist, along with the state of Texas, have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. State Department, alleging an abuse of power and violation of the First Amendment. The complaint exposes how the government, through the Global Engagement Center (GEC), diverted its focus from countering foreign propaganda to funding censorship technologies targeting domestic media with dissenting opinions. This alarming overreach, described as one of the gravest abuses of power in American history, is now being challenged in federal court.
The lawsuit contends that the State Department, with no authority over domestic affairs, misused taxpayer funds to finance censorship organizations like NewsGuard and the Global Disinformation Index (GDI). These entities have systematically targeted conservative media outlets, including The Daily Wire and The Federalist, aiming to limit their ad revenue and suppress their reach. The New Civil Liberties Alliance, representing the media outlets, asserts that the government cannot circumvent the First Amendment indirectly when it is forbidden from doing so directly.
The GDI’s “Dynamic Exclusion List” and NewsGuard’s whitelisting tactics are highlighted as tools deployed to stifle disfavored media. GDI, funded and promoted by the State Department, maintains a secret blacklist while publicly identifying prominent conservative outlets as high-risk for disinformation. The lawsuit argues that the State Department’s active intervention in the media market had devastating consequences for conservative media, making them unprofitable.
The State Department’s funding of NewsGuard, which labels conservative outlets as “unreliable,” further underscores the government’s role in influencing public perception. NewsGuard’s collaboration with the State Department in identifying COVID-19 misinformation adds another layer to the government’s questionable involvement in shaping narratives. The lawsuit contends that tools designed for foreign relations and national security were misdirected to suppress domestic political opponents.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton emphasizes the unconstitutional nature of the State Department’s mission to silence dissent. Paxton argues that the federal government’s actions infringe on Texas’ anti-censorship laws, limiting his ability to enforce them. The lawsuit aims to declare the State Department’s interference with domestic speech illegal and permanently prevent it from supporting technologies that restrict lawful speech.
The legal action represents a broader pushback against what is perceived as an attempt by the Biden administration to silence voices that diverge from its ideological agenda. The conservative outlets involved in the lawsuit view it as a defense of not only their rights but also the constitutional guarantee of a free press that every American deserves. This legal battle adds another layer to the ongoing scrutiny of government overreach and attempts to curtail freedom of expression in the media landscape.