NewsGuard Leaves USA Today’s Perfect Score Unchanged — Even After Source Fabrication Scandal

June 24th, 2022 10:12 AM

USA Today recently removed over 20 articles after publication leadership found one of their reporters fabricating sources. Yet biased ratings firm NewsGuard still gives USA Today a stunning 100/100 score for “credibility,” even after acknowledging the scandal.

NewsGuard’s “nutrition label” for USA Today still gives the outlet a perfect “credibility” score, 100/100. This means that NewsGuard scored USA Today perfectly on categories including “Regularly corrects or clarifies errors,” “Gathers and presents information responsibly,” and “Does not repeatedly publish false content.” This comes even after  USA Today became embroiled in a scandal after finding former reporter Gabriela Miranda fabricated sources.

USA Today removed 23 stories from its site after an audit of Miranda’s work revealed multiple discrepancies. Miranda resigned from her position. NewsGuard, which touts itself as the online “credibility” arbiter, has not adjusted USA Today’s 100-percent score, despite having added the information about the source fabrication scandal to its nutrition label for the outlet. 

How does NewsGuard justify maintaining USA Today’s score while openly acknowledging the outlet’s self-identified massive fail?

“‘After receiving an external correction request, USA TODAY audited the reporting work of Gabriela Miranda,’” NewsGuard’s nutrition label quoted the publication as saying in an editor’s note. “‘The audit revealed that some individuals quoted were not affiliated with the organizations claimed and appeared to be fabricated. The existence of other individuals quoted could not be independently verified. In addition, some stories included quotes that should have been credited to others.’”

NewsGuard has consistently shown a bias in favor of leftist outlets. USA Today is no exception. 

An MRC study found that outlets classified as “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. NewsGuard even rated several Chinese state-run media outlets higher than U.S. media outlets OANN, Newsmax and LifeNews.

NewsGuard also reaffirmed its perfect 100/100 rating for BuzzFeed News in February, despite the fact that BuzzFeed continued to host the Steele Dossier on its site long after the dossier was debunked. BuzzFeed’s dossier article still remains on the site, and NewsGuard still rates Buzzfeed 100/100, including a perfect score in the category, “Regularly corrects or clarifies errors.”

Republican Reps. Jim Banks (IN), Virginia Foxx (NC), and Burgess Owens (UT) sent letters to NewsGuard co-CEO Steven Brill and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten recently citing MRC’s original research. The lawmakers expressed “concern” about the partnership between NewsGuard and AFT to bring NewsGuard to classrooms in light of NewsGuard’s proven bias.

 “The partnership between NewsGuard and AFT is equally troubling when examining the AFT,” the congressional members wrote. “AFT has donated overwhelmingly to Democrat candidates, and its President, Randi Weingarten, even appeared with the Democratic nominee for Virginia Governor on the final day of the 2021 election.”

Conservatives are under attack. Contact ABC News 818-460-7477, CBS News 212-975-3247 and NBC News 212-664-6192 and demand they report on NewsGuard’s clear left-wing bias.