Gabe Kaminsky of the Washington Examiner reports:
Two U.S. nonprofit groups tied to the Global Disinformation Index, a British entity blacklisting conservative media outlets, are refusing to disclose key details about their operations, citing an obscure federal exemption law on “harassment,” according to a Washington Examiner investigation.
The private AN Foundation, also known as the Disinformation Index Foundation, and its affiliated public charity, Disinformation Index Inc., provided the Washington Examiner with heavily redacted copies of their 2021 IRS tax returns. A lawyer for the two entities is alleging that these redactions were made because the groups are the target of a coordinated “harassment campaign,” a claim that multiple tax experts warn does not allow them to hide information on officers, board members, and, in the case of one group, omit the source of a donation.
From the article:
“This is outrageous,” said Paul Kamenar, counsel to the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog that plans to file an IRS complaint against both nonprofit groups.
Also from the article:
“It’s kind of ironic that a group whose mission is transparency is withholding the names of its officers,” said the lawyer for the National Legal and Policy Center.
Kaminsky had previously reported about the Global Disinformation Index, which is leading a campaign to pressure online advertisers to avoid outlets that carry information and opinion it doesn’t like. From his March 31 story titled, “How we Uncovered a Modern Censorship Regime:”
GDI compiles a “dynamic exclusion list” that advertising companies subscribe to so they can help “defund” disfavored speech. What my reporting found, however, is that GDI’s classification of “disinformation” is heavily partisan.
The organization has alleged that the 10 “riskiest” news outlets are the American Spectator, Newsmax, the Federalist, the American Conservative, One America News, the Blaze, the Daily Wire, RealClearPolitics, Reason, and the New York Post. All of these media outlets skew to the right. Some, such as the American Conservative and the Federalist, publish mostly commentary, meaning that by any traditional understanding of the term “disinformation,” these sites don’t traffic in it.
Meanwhile, GDI has claimed that the 10 “least risky” outlets are NPR, ProPublica, the Associated Press, Insider, the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed News, HuffPost, and the Wall Street Journal.
Even more troubling is the fact that the two entities, which are affiliated with the British group, received $665,000 in U.S. State Department grants in 2020 and 2021. If a censorship campaign is government sponsored, it is illegal and unconstitutional.
According to the British group’s website, its funders include George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.