Guess Which Outlet Internet Traffic Cop NewsGuard Is Applauding OpenAI for Partnering With

May 2nd, 2024 10:21 AM

You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours seems to be NewsGuard’s attitude toward OpenAI.

Gordon Crovitz, the Co-editor and chief of so-called media ratings firm NewsGuard, wrote an article praising OpenAI artificial intelligence ChatGPT’s use of “Trustworthy Journalism” in its answers. But trustworthy according to whom? Well, NewsGuard’s biased ratings system, of course. This comes just two and a half months after ChatGPT refused to answer which news sources are the worst and instead directed MRC Free Speech America researchers to look to NewsGuard ratings for answers. 

“Trusting legacy media to train AI is just about as ridiculous as chickens trusting a fox to guard the hen house,” said Michael Morris, Director of MRC Free Speech America. “But that’s exactly what NewsGuard is asking users to do here, and that can only lead to one thing: a really bad day for the chickens.”

In his recent article, Crovitz applauded OpenAI for its recent licensing agreement with The Financial Times (FT), which just so happens to have a 100/100 NewsGuard rating. 

“The AI models are ‘trained’ on whatever they can find on the internet, so when people ask the chatbots about topics in the news, their responses are based on the news sources the models are able to access,” Crovitz wrote. “OpenAI just announced that the Financial Times is the latest news publisher to get a licensing agreement, which means that its ChatGPT will be able to use the highly regarded London-based source of financial and business news in its training data.” 

FT has repeatedly shown its bias over the years including when in 2018 it made leftist billionaire George Soros its “person of the year.” The outlet has also propped up President Joe Biden when his bad economic policies predictably led to bad economic outcomes. “Unemployment rate in US falls unexpectedly to 13.3%,”  FT wrote in a headline. The Financial Times editor and columnist Edward Luce also parroted claims of the Russian collusion hoax when he was interviewed on MSNBC’s Morning Joe

The AI platform is also reportedly negotiating similar licensing agreements with CNN  and Politico –which NewsGuard gave ratings of 80 and 100 respectively– along with News Corp. which owns a conglomeration of outlets, according to Bloomberg News.  

Crovitz is also in no position to label what news is “trustworthy” as his own ratings firm has repeatedly shown bias and relaxed standards toward leftist media outlets while giving right-leaning media outlets low scores. 

MRC Free Speech America has repeatedly shown that NewsGuard’s ratings system favors leftist media outlets. Using a media bias chart provided by AllSides in January 2023, the MRC exposed NewsGuard for giving a high average score of 91/100 to media on the “left” while slapping “a low average score of 66/100 to media on the “right”. This mirrored MRC’s previous studies which found very similar results.

NewsGuard showed its true colors when The New York Times, TIME, Politico and Reuters each falsely reported that Israel was responsible for an airstrike on Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza. Those who did not just take Hamas’s health ministry at its word soon learned via U.S. intelligence assessment that the explosion was caused by a “failed rocket launch by militant terrorists,” as Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) put it.

Despite the very public flub, Time, Politico and Reuters each continue to have a perfect 100/100 rating from NewsGuard. While NewsGuard docked The Times’s score in February and mentioned the Gaza hospital fake news that the leftist rag published, the ratings firm notably did not reduce the score due to its criteria that media outlets not “repeatedly publish false or egregiously misleading content.” Instead, NewsGuard lowered the media outlet’s score because The Times no longer “Handles the difference between news and opinion responsibly.”

NewsGuard gave USA Today a perfect score, which did not even change after the outlet admitted to publishing 23 fabricated stories in 2022.

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