EXCLUSIVE: Rep. McCormick Champions Push to End Dystopian Censorship Industrial Complex, Touts MRC

November 16th, 2023 11:03 AM

The Department of Defense may soon have its dystopian efforts come to a screeching halt after a lawmaker offered an amendment to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) barring government censorship collusion.

Rep. Richard McCormick (R-GA) is rallying support for an amendment to the annual defense bill that would formally eradicate the Pentagon’s ability to engage with or fund groups that notoriously target advertisers for right-leaning media outlets. Among those anti-free speech groups included are leftist internet traffic cop NewsGuard, the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) and Graphika Technologies, McCormick declared in exclusive comments to MRC Free Speech America late Wednesday.

Rep. McCormick did not mince words when detailing the harrowing censorship plot to thwart the First Amendment: 

“We’ve seen from The Twitter files and the Weaponization Committee’s report on the Election Integrity Project that the Censorship Industrial Complex is real and targeting conservative voices. Congress has a real opportunity to do something about that by reining in for-profit censors that have been funded by our own government like NewsGuard and GDI. 

“Including my amendment in the NDAA is something we can do right now, this year, to address the censorship of conservatives. MRC’s own research shows these organizations are heavily biased against conservatives and are the leading edge of the censorship industrial complex. My colleagues Jim Jordan and James Comer have done a wonderful job exposing the incestuous relationship between government and censorship organizations; but it is time to legislate on this issue. My amendment is a real opportunity to tackle this problem this year.”

McCormick initially announced the rule in June but resurfaced the measure this week as Congress weighs the passage of the 2024 NDAA. If adopted, the measure would bar the Pentagon from potentially working with “[a]ny other entity the function of which is to advise the censorship or blacklisting of news sources based on subjective criteria or political biases, under the stated function of ‘fact checking’ or otherwise removing ‘misinformation.’”

GDI and NewsGuard — both of which have been reportedly funded and backed by U.S. government entities — are companies that actively seek to tell readers, advertisers and corporations which sites to avoid. As first unveiled by an MRC Free Speech America study, NewsGuard’s ratings heavily favor leftist outlets. Earlier this year, NewsGuard attempted to distance itself from the federal government but did not deny that the company received a whopping $750,000 payout from the Pentagon.

Moreover, GDI, as reported by the Washington Examiner, maintained a disturbing blacklist of right-leaning news websites. GDI targeted outlets such as The American Spectator, Newsmax, The Federalist, The American Conservative, One America News, the Blaze, The Daily Wire, RealClearPolitics, Reason and the New York Post. The State Department and the non-profit National Endowment for Democracy gave approximately $960,000 to GDI, the Examiner reported. Strikingly, GDI has three advisory board members tied to leftist billionaire George Soros.  

Rep. McCormick took to X (formerly Twitter)  to call on Congress to pass the NDAA with his amendment. “I have the only piece of legislation to rein in the Censorship Industrial Complex that has a chance of passing this year.  We must ensure this provision remains in the NDAA,” he said Tuesday.

Rep. McCormick's Amendment to NDAA 2024 by MRC Free Speech America on Scribd.

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