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Four members of a House Armed Services subcommittee have issued a new letter demanding answers from a major advertising agency contracted by the U.S. Air Force for its shady connections to leftist media ratings firms with a track record of trying to bankrupt right-leaning media.

Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Mike Waltz (R-FL) and Jack Bergman (R-MI) issued the letter on Feb. 9. Citing the failures of the U.S. military to meet its recruiting goals, the letter demands answers from the GSD&M CEO Duff Steward, whose agency received a $741 million contract from the Air Force in an effort to attract new recruits.

The lawmakers sought information to determine whether the ad company distributes Air Force ads in a politically biased manner and conducts business with website traffic cops NewsGuard and the George Soros-tied Global Disinformation Index (GDI).

“As members of the Military Personnel Subcommittee of HSAC, we intend to thoroughly investigate our military recruitment failures, including the policies and strategies of the contractors of the Department of Defense (DoD) entrusted with billions of dollars in advertising,” the lawmakers wrote. “The extent to which the DoD and its contractors have prioritized social justice and political correctness over national security, readiness, and lethality will be a major factor of this investigation.”

The members of the subcommittee were particularly interested in whether the GSD&M uses NewsGuard and GDI to decide where advertisements would be featured, despite both entities’ sordid records for effectively blacklisting right-leaning media. 

The investigation is meant to enforce Section 1555 of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act which “requires that any entity placing advertisements on behalf of the Department of Defense certify that the entity does not place advertisements in news sources based on personal or institutional political preferences or biases, or determinations of misinformation.” 

The four lawmakers stated that the Section 1555 provision addresses “concerns that advertising blacklists are effectively created by groups like NewsGuard Technologies and the Global Disinformation Index by providing advertising firms with lists which rank or rate media by subjective and often political criteria which, in turn, artificially limit military recruitment advertisements’ reach.”

In discussing the letter on the Tuesday edition of Newsmax’s Newsline, Banks characterized NewsGuard as a “left-wing think tank” and stated that “we know that they censor conservative outlets like your own.” In a write up of the interview, Newsmax reported: “Two annual studies by the Media Research Center found that NewsGuard consistently gives conservative media outlets much lower ratings than liberal ones.”

MRC Free Speech America has conducted comprehensive studies in the past three years that have revealed NewsGuard “overwhelmingly favored left-leaning outlets over right-leaning ones.” The latest study found that the average NewsGuard rating for left-leaning outlets was 91/100 compared to only 65/100 for right-leaning outlets. The two previous studies, released in January 2023 and December 2021, note similar disparities in the scores of right versus left-leaning outlets.

GDI, the other blacklisting entity mentioned in the letter funded by the State Department-tied Global Engagement Center, has also been exposed for having an explicit bias against the right. A Washington Examiner investigation  uncovered how the outlets GDI characterizes as the “‘riskiest’ and ‘worst’ offenders for peddling disinformation” are all right-leaning. 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.