Issues & Insights
Noah_Loverbear, Creative Commons

Let’s ‘Demonetize’ NBC News And Google

This week saw a depressing new low in the attempt by the left to silence voices with which it disagrees when an NBC News “reporter” tried to enlist Google to block two conservative websites’ ability to make money.

In a report on Tuesday, NBC News’ London-based Adele-Momoko Fraser claimed that Google had banned The Federalist and Zero Hedge from its ad platform over articles that were “pushing unsubstantiated claims about the Black Lives Matter protests.”

Google soon tried to correct the record, saying that “The Federalist was never demonetized.” Google had only threatened to blacklist the site from its ad network. (It did “demonetize” Zero Hedge.)

What’s more, contrary to NBC News, Google’s actions against The Federalist and Zero Hedge had nothing to do with articles they published, but with reader comments on those sites. Google told Fox News that it has “strict publisher policies that govern the content ads can run on, which includes comments on the site. This is a longstanding policy.”

It turns out that not only did NBC’s Fraser botch the story, she also played an active role in generating the “news” in the first place. It was NBC News that notified Google of “research conducted by the Center for Countering Digital Hate,” a heretofore unknown and sketchy outfit, which got the ball rolling.

When her initial story published, Fraser tweeted out a cheery thanks to the CCDH for “their hard work and collaboration.”

Since Fraser hasn’t been fired or disciplined – that we know of – it’s apparently acceptable at NBC News for a reporter to actively try to silence other journalists, while playing fast and loose with the facts. So long as it’s in service of a leftist agenda. This isn’t media bias. This is media malpractice.

While NBC News is rightly taking heat for this debacle, there’s still the problem of Google’s behavior. The fact that it tried to pull the financial plug on The Federalist over reader comments is hardly a source of comfort. Particularly since Google’s application of this rule seems so partisan.

Go to any far-left website and you’re likely to find hate-filled comments, offensive language, and calls for violence and mayhem, right next to ads placed there by Google’s ubiquitous ad network.

As Sen. Ted Cruz noted in a letter to Google CEO Sander Pichai on Wednesday, “on any given day, there are thousands of profane, racist and indefensible comments posted on YouTube, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Google.”

Cruz wants Pichai to explain just what Google’s “longstanding” policy is when it comes to advertising and reader comments, and how the company enforces it. Does Google, he asks, “apply the same standards to all media organizations, or just those with which it has political disagreements.” (We hope Cruz isn’t waiting for an honest answer to that one.)

There’s also the fact Google itself, along with every other social media company actively trying to silence conservatives, enjoys immunity from lawsuits involving user-created content – thanks to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.  

As Cruz notes, “while Google holds that it cannot be held financially accountable for unlawful speech on its own platform, it is all too willing to use its market power to hold a conservative media outlet financially responsible for allowing disfavored speech on its platforms.” Google “hypocrisy” and you get Google.

We aren’t supporters of having the federal government step in and regulate or break up Big Tech. These are private companies, after all, as is NBC News. But if the government hammer comes down, Google and company will only have themselves to blame.

In the meantime, wouldn’t it be nice if Google went back to its mission of organizing the world’s information and making it easily accessible, and journalists went back to reporting the news instead of making it up, and the internet was a liberating force for free expression?

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Yes, yes and YES. Please… Instead of ‘googling’ use another search engine. DuckDuckGO or any.thing.else.

    • I want to demonetize Drudge, he’s gone completely to the other side. If you want to see what is on drudge but not click on drudge then to go here: https:/ it is an exact replica of drudge without the pictures (which may be copyrighted). Don’t give him clicks, demonetize drudge.

  • I thought we were just letting NBC and the other alphabet news networks demonize themselves, as well as letting the hi-tech companies do the same. They are all quite good at it, and all we need to do is acknowledge what demons and minions from h3ll that they are and do as much as possible not to use their services or products.
    Next we should be seeing the NBC peacock having horns and turning red, and the CBS all seeing eye will become Sauron.

  • Exactly what does “demonitize” mean in the headline? How is this to be done?

    I know it’s needed, but we have to figure out a single target – one at a time – and make it easy to do (Alinsky’s Rules 6 & 7). Goolag is a good place to start. But just how?

  • I stopped watching NBC nearly 2 decades ago along with ABC and CBS. CNN began sliding into activism maybe 10 years ago and I’ve never deliberately watched MSDNC. I haven’t subscribed to a newspaper since the mid-1990s. I typically spend a couple of hours every day pursing various online websites for news, opinion and commentary, being sure to make sure I’m getting all sides of an issue or discussion point.

    It doesn’t seem to be doing any good as these media outlets have, if nothing else, gotten demonstrably worse during the time I began tuning them out.. True, CNN ratings indicate that it’s mostly captive airport travelers who watch, yet they persist, as do all the others.

    What to do since these awful trash-mongers refuse to die?

    Keep on keeping on, and spread the word.

    When these paragons of garbage media begin to fail perhaps those remaining will change their ways. Until then, the echo chamber still provides enough sustenance to allow this media malpractice to continue.

  • It has become time to seriously consider breaking up Alphabet (Google). It has too much market share in the internet advertising space and we have now seen it abusing that position.

  • For the love of God, why isn’t NBC referred to as Comcast’s media arm NBC?? How will the public ever understand, accept, and act on the open hostility major corporations feel towards them if they are never tied to the media arms they use to execute their political strategies against the American people? Comcast owns everything Al Sharpton says while he is in the employ of their media arm. Disney owns every bit of ABC’s dishonesty and journalistic malpractice.

  • Vote with your pocketbook. You have a choice which search engine you use, which phone you buy, which google account you set up and use. Google has never been an advocate for more freedom unless it benefits their financial model. Vote with your dollars accordingly….

  • Was it the DOJ who broke up AT&T? or some anti trust procedure? It is overdue to give a haircut or a break up of Google, FB, and Twitter. Censorship of free speech in America is unconstitutional and intolerable.

  • Demonize??How about Castrate, Silence, execute..They have no problem Censoring our voices..They no longer get a voice.. Or to Breath.

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