MRC, Allies Warn Governors About Biased NewsGuard’s Pact with Teachers Union

March 3rd, 2022 12:22 PM

The Media Research Center and more than 40 other conservative leaders warned governors about the left-wing bias of ratings firm NewsGuard.

The joint letter, signed by MRC founder and President Brent Bozell and dozens of other free speech advocates, sounded the alarm both on NewsGuard’s leftist bias and the ratings firm’s dangerous and growing influence in the educational arena. NewsGuard recently partnered with the American Federation of Teachers to bring its online “credibility” ratings and other resources to teachers and school children.

But the MRC consistently found NewsGuard to be biased in favor of leftist news outlets. NewsGuard even rated several Communist Chinese state-run media outlets higher than several American outlets and pro-life U.S. websites. The ratings firm also claims to help identify “misinformation,” but its biases show it isn’t objective.

Below is the full letter to state governors about NewsGuard:


“Dear Governor,


NewsGuard, a so-called online “credibility” arbiter, is threatening the quality and integrity of the education system in your state. And in every state.

NewsGuard has recently partnered with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to censor points of view they disagree with in the classroom. Specifically, NewsGuard is actively working with the AFT to bring its agenda-driven rating system to classrooms across the country. Why? To stymie students from partaking in an open exploration of news and views from across the political spectrum. 

NewsGuard claims to objectively rate the validity and accuracy of websites and news sources. But it does nothing of the sort. In fact, as we have pointed out in a recent study, NewsGuard is yet another one-sided, leftist organization dedicated to silencing conservative voices and other viewpoints it disagrees with. Specifically, in our study we  “found that outlets rated ‘left’ or ‘lean left’ by AllSides received an average NewsGuard score of 93/100. Sites considered ‘right’ or ‘lean right’ by AllSides had an average NewsGuard rating of 66/100.  

As we have outlined in our report: “School children depend on the internet for homework help. NewsGuard is now stepping in to ‘filter’ online sources for so-called ‘misinformation.’ The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union is buying NewsGuard licenses for its 1.7 million member teachers, according to an AFT press release. The partnership will make NewsGuard available to tens of millions of students and their families for free. The NewsGuard partnership will foist the company's ‘real-time “traffic light” news ratings and detailed “Nutrition Label” reviews, via a licensed copy of NewsGuard’s browser extension’ on students using news stories for research.``

We are calling on you to stop this ideological assault on education and freedom of speech. There should be no partnership among such ideologically driven outside organizations and state-sponsored educational establishments. Such partnerships are clear conflicts of interest with an open and honest educational system. 

If, according to NewsGuard, a website does not meet its biased criteria for accuracy, NewsGuard gives that website a worse rating — on a scale of 1-100. The purpose of NewsGuard’s rating system is clear … to silence voices with which it disagrees. Examples of NewsGuard’s bias include:

  • HuffPost, which published an attack piece on then-conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh following his death headlined “Rush Limbaugh, Bigoted King of Talk Radio, Dies at 70,” scored a “87.5” by NewsGuard.
  • The Federalist, posted in the “right” AllSides list, was scored the worst with a ridiculous “12.5” on NewsGuard. A predominant reason for the abysmal rating, according to NewsGuard, was that The Federalist questioned the efficacy of mask mandates for COVID-19, even though liberal CNBC (not on the AllSides list, but has a “95” NewsGuard rating) cited a study showing that cloth masks were only 37 percent effective at filtering out virus particles.
  • Abortion giant Planned Parenthood, who performed 9 million abortions as of July 2021, recieved a positive 75/100 rating.  Yet, NewsGuard gave pro-life LifeNews and Live Action websites negative red “credibility” ratings of 30/100. NewsGuard specifically downgraded Live Action for reportedly exposing corruption in Planned Parenthood. The rating firm gave LifeSiteNews a 17.5/100.

And now NewsGuard is bringing this leftist, censorship agenda to secondary and post-secondary schools throughout the country — through a partnership with a far-left teacher’s union.

This agenda must be stopped dead in its tracks. 

As education is a key priority of any state, we are urging you, as your state’s chief executive, to call out NewsGuard for its ideologically driven agenda. We are also asking you to take immediate steps to prevent NewsGuard from inserting itself into the classrooms and schools of your state

As organizations representing millions of Americans all across the country, including your state, we are calling on you to immediately and publicly take a stand and prevent the agenda driven NewsGuard from insinuating itself into the classrooms in your state. 

We look forward to your response.




L. Brent Bozell III

Founder and President

Media Research Center


Saulius “Saul” Anuzis


60 Plus Association


Ted Baehr, Th.D., HHD, J.D.


Christian Film and Television Commision


Gary L. Bauer


American Values


Ryan Bomberger

Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer

The Radiance Foundation


Dan Bongino

The Dan Bongino Show


Merrilee Boyack 


Strengthen Utah Families


Floyd Brown


The Western Journal


Mrs. Susan Carleson Currer

Chairman and CEO

The Carleson Center for Welfare Reform


Senator Jim DeMint


Conservative Partnership Institute


William A. Donohue


Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights


Erick-Woods Erickson

Host of the Erick Erickson Show


Steven Ertelt



Mark J. Fitzgibbons

President of Corporate Affairs

American Target Advertising, Inc. 


Lady Brigitte Gabriel

Founder & Chairman

Act for America


Gualberto Garcia Jones

Vice President


Paul J. Gessing 


Rio Grande Foundation


Kristi Hamrick

Chief Media and Policy Strategist and Spokesperson

Students for Life of America/Students for Life Action


Aaron Harison


Free Beacon


Kristan Hawkins


Students for Life Action/Students for Life of America


Heather R. Higgins


Independent Women’s Voice


Colleen Holcomb


Eagle Forum


Phil Kerpen


American Commitment


Amy Kremer


Women for America First


David Kupelian

Vice President and Managing Editor



Jim Lakely

Vice President and Director of Communications

The Heartland Institute


George Landrith


Frontiers of Freedom


Carrie Lukas


Independent Women’s Forum


Richard Manning


Americans for Limited Government


James L. Martin

Founder and Chairman

60 Plus Association


Rod D. Martin

Founder and CEO

The Martin Organization


Cleta Mitchell, Esq. 

Senior Legal Fellow

Conservative Partnership Institute


Phelim McAleer

Ann & Phelim Media


Michael P. McDonald

Communications Director

The Catholic League


Ann McElhinney

Ann & Phelim Media


C. Preston Noell III


Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.


Emmanuel Rincon


El American


Austin Ruse


Center for Family and Human Rights


Terry Schilling


American Principles Project


Jon Schweppe

Director of Policy & Government Affairs

American Principles Project


Craig Shirley

Chairman and CEO

Shirley & McVicker Public Affairs


Sharon Slater


Family Watch International


Sean Spicer

Former White House Press Secretary


Mathew D. Staver, Esq., B.C.S.

Founder and Chairman

Liberty Council


Governor Scott Walker


Young America’s Foundation


Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West (U.S. Army, Retired)

Member, 112th U.S. Congress

Former Chairman, Republican Party of Texas


Aaron Withe


Freedom Foundation”