A journalism institute released a "blacklist" of media outlets they deemed as "unreliable" that was created by an employee of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center and overwhelmingly contains conservative new media outlets.
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a Florida-based nonprofit journalism school, released the list on Wednesday and declared dozens of mainstream conservative sites such as the Washington Free Beacon, Daily Caller, Daily Signal, CNS News, and Breitbart as "unreliable" while listing few liberal sites," Newsbusters reports.
The study notes it trimmed the list "by removing several sites whose stories, though highly politicized, were mostly not fake: alternet.org, cato.org, heritage.org, nationalreview.com, thedailybeast.com, the intercept.com, thinkprogress.org, and weeklystandard.com."
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A majority of the removed sites lean left. Of the removed conservative sites, the Heritage Foundation, a think tank – and not in itself a news site — was taken off the list. However, the Daily Signal, which is hosted by the Heritage Foundation, is included on the list. Another conservative site that was removed from the list, the Weekly Standard, was shuttered in December.
While most of the sites are labeled as "unreliable", "fake", or "conspiracy" – or a combination of the three — the Free Beacon is listed as "bias", a label that prompted further review of the sites that were ultimately removed from the list upon further review and before its release.
Barrett Golding, an employee at the Southern Poverty Law Center, a far-left nonprofit embroiled in controversy over accusations of internal racism from its top management that led to its co-founder, Morris Dees, and president, Richard Cohen, being ousted from the group, created the list for Poynter.
Golding appears to have followed the SPLC "list" model in its creation of "unreliable" news sites, as many of the mainstream conservative sites on the list are thrown in with actual sites that push conspiracy theories. This mirrors the SPLC's "hate group" list, which contains mainstream conservative organizations alongside racist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan. The SPLC's "hate" list, which it is perhaps best known for today, has helped the controversial — and allegedly internally racist group itself towards its black employees – to garner more than $500 million in total assets, $120 million of which is parked overseas.
"These sites stood next to conservative organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented baker Jack Phillips in the Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission," Newsbusters writes. "While the ADF is not a news site, it was likely targeted because Golding works for the SPLC. The ADF is considered a ‘hate group' by the SPLC and is marked on the ‘hate map.' The Washington Post even questioned SPLC's ‘political activism' and ‘bias.'"
"SPLC has been dropped by Twitter from its Trust and Safety Council and slammed by the mainstream media after multiple scandals rocked the organization. Its hate map even helped shooter Floyd Lee Corkins find the location of the Family Research Council, where he shot and wounded five people."
Factcheck.org, Fake News Codex, OpenSources, and PolitiFact were also involved in the study alongside Golding.