James Comer Investigating Taxpayer Funds Granted to Blacklist Conservative Media
House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) on Thursday launched a probe into reports that taxpayer dollars administered by the State Department were granted to the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), an organization that seeks to demonetize conservative news outlets.
GDI has recently received $330,000 in taxpayer funds administered by the State Department, according to media reports. Taxpayer funds flowing to GDI are significant because it maintains a media blacklist known as the “Dynamic Exclusion List,” which reportedly flags 39 conservative news outlets as “false/misleading.”
The list is ultimately used by the establishment to discredit conservative news organizations, reduce their ad revenue, and de-platform them. The outlets known to be on the blacklist include Breitbart News, the Blaze, the Washington Times, Judicial Watch, MRC.TV, RealClearPolitics, and the Daily Wire.
In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Comer requested documents and a briefing on the scope of the State Department’s funds used to backlist conservative news organizations.
“The Committee is disturbed by recent reporting that taxpayer money ended up in the hands of a foreign organization running an advertising blacklist of organizations accused of hosting disinformation on their websites, including several conservative-leaning news organizations,” Comer wrote.
“The federal government should not be censoring free speech nor policing what news outlets Americans choose to consume,” Comer continued. “And taxpayer funds should never be given to third parties with the intent that they be used to censor lawful speech or abridge the freedom of the press.”
Comer’s request comes as Breitbart News exclusively reported Monday that GOP House Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) was instrumental in ensuring that GDI no longer would receive financial support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), according to a source with knowledge of NED’s decision making. Stefanik is a NED board member.
NED’s decision to defund GDI is significant because it is also funded by the State Department. In 2020, documents show NED granted $230,000 to the AN Foundation, a GDI group under the name Disinformation Index Foundation. In turn, financial documents show that NED received over $300 million from the State Department since 2021.
“The State Department should not be funding woke organizations who seek to censor and demonetize conservative outlets,” Stefanik stated last week. “House Republicans will assert our oversight over the State Department’s funding of these type of groups.”