founder and editor Tom Elliott emailed the following statement to NewsGuard on Aug. 31, 2023, in response to NewsGuard’s request for a phone interview about Grabien’s editorial practices. Portions of Elliott’s statement appear in the Nutrition Label for

Hi Samuel — Please quote my response in full: 

The only thing I’d care to discuss with Newsguard is how Grabien can get the worst possible score on your “nutrition label,” as much like the federal food pyramid, what you claim is “healthy” is actually toxic, and sites you claim “should be avoided” are some of the only places you can find real reporting into important topics. 

For example, multiple federal investigations have confirmed that the FBI and CIA exploit outlets like the Washington Post & New York Times to seed disinformation, yet Newsguard gives both perfect ratings, highlighting your role in progressives’ information laundering operation. Just yesterday the Washington Post told author and attorney Jonathan Turley that they “stand by” reporting from Philip Bump, widely regarded as one of the most serially dishonest conspiracy theorists in the news industry. As Turley noted, the Washington Post as an organization is now putting its credibility behind provably false claims, such as Hunter Biden’s laptop being “Russian disinformation,” Trump dispatching the Park Police to clear Lafayette Square for a photo op, Russia colluding with Trump in 2016, and the Clinton campaign not being behind the Steele Dossier and the related FBI probe. In short, the Washington Post, which Newsguard holds up as the quintessential example of reliably factual news, admits passing off progressive conspiracy theories as actual journalism. 

Meanwhile, Newsguard gives Revolver News — one of the only news organizations to conduct actual investigative journalism into January 6th — one of its lowest scores, just 7.5 out of 100. And one of the first news outlets to uncover the actual origins of Covid-19, ZeroHedge, likewise receives Newsguard’s “maximum caution” warning. 

The whole point of Newsguard is to hoodwink people into believing fake news is real and real news is fake. By slapping warnings on sites publishing material elites want suppressed, Newsguard hopes readers will dismiss serious scoops from non-corporate news sources; incidentally, in so doing, we see Newsguard’s entire enterprise is based on an ad hominem logical fallacy.

I can’t help but mention that Newsguard itself is a source of misinformation; as Phil Magness at the American Institute of Economic Research conclusively established, your organization knowingly publishes false material — perhaps the gravest journalistic sin of all — in furtherance of Newsguard’s owners’ left-wing political interests. If graded against your own scorecard, Magness found Newsguard would fail, receiving a 36 out of 100. 

So please, do Grabien a favor and lower our rating further, as that will be the best way for us to prove our journalistic credibility. 

Most sincerely,