Crane Blasts Global Disinformation Index Censorship of Conservative News Outlets at Taxpayers' Expense

Crane Blasts Global Disinformation Index Censorship of Conservative News Outlets at Taxpayers' Expense

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
June 27, 2024

During a recent House Small Business Committee hearing, Representative Eli Crane (R-AZ) sparred with Dr. Mary Anne Franks, a George Washington University professor, on taxpayer funds going to the American branch of the Global Disinformation Index (GDI). This blacklister seems to target conservative news sites exclusively.

"@RepEliCrane and today's witnesses reveal that EVERY organization on the GDI blacklist is conservative-leaning. Taxpayer dollars are being used to silence one side of the aisle. How is that possible if this is supposed to be a fair process?" the House Small Business Committee's X (formerly Twitter) account asked, posting the video of Rep. Crane's questioning.

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The Washington Examiner first reported in February 2023 that GDI exclusively targeted conservative news sites for "defunding," as in discouraging advertisers from their sites. More dangerously, GDI received funding through two government-backed entities, effectively creating a form of backdoor censorship.

"I want to start with you, Ms. Franks," Rep. Crane began, "I believe you said the government has the right to participate in expressing its viewpoint... I do not think that is what we are really talking about here today. We are not talking about the government expressing its viewpoints. What we are really talking about is when the government pays and uses taxpayer dollars to fund these entities that we are talking about here today, that actually discredit some of these news sites and drive away their advertisers. Do you think that is fair as well?"

Dr. Franks corrected the Arizona Congressman to refer to her as such before saying the government does not make the decisions and that any news outlets that lose their advertisers are "just losers" who "lose in the marketplace of ideas."

An incensed Crane pointed out that Jenin Younes, an admitted liberal at the hearing, said the pattern of targeting conservative news sites exclusively was troubling and repeated the question.

"So you think it is okay for the federal government to be using our tax dollars to basically, through a proxy, blacklist one side of the aisle. You think that is okay?"

Dr. Franks denied it was happening, and if the sites were all conservative, then "that is something that conservatives would need to answer."

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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