Christina Pushaw, a spokesperson for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), torched the Global Disinformation Index’s (GDI) definition of disinformation, contending that the “entire legacy media” is full of disinformation.
“Good morning @DisinfoIndex, I used your definition, below, and found that the entire legacy media is full disinformation about a democratic institution: the democratically elected Governor of Florida & his Administration,” Pushaw wrote.
She then urged the foreign think tank to look into the Miami Herald, South Florida Sun Sentinel, and the Tampa Bay Times.
Good morning @DisinfoIndex. I used your definition, below, and found that the entire legacy media is full of disinformation about a democratic institution: the democratically elected Governor of Florida & his Administration. Please look into @MiamiHerald @SunSentinel @TB_Times… pic.twitter.com/DZo33mz70n
— Christina Pushaw ? ?? (@ChristinaPushaw) February 16, 2023
This is the latest high-profile conservative attack on GDI, a George Soros-funded think tank, or “data-driven advocacy organization,” which many officials are saying is being used to target conservative media outlets.
A Microsoft-owned ad network, Xandr, used GDI’s Dynamic Exclusion List to blacklist conservative media companies in order to choke off advertising revenue. Xandr has reportedly removed, for the moment, the negative flags for conservative media.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said that it would be extremely concerning if the U.S. government funded GDI; reports have suggested that two State Department-backed entities, the Global Engagement Center (GEC) and the National Endowment for Democracy, have granted $665,000 combined to GDI.
Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) have demanded an investigation into the reports about government funding of the foreign think tank.
Rubio, the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said:
The internet was intended to democratize speech and the State Department has a mandate to stop authoritarian regimes’ attempts to silence it, but we’re now seeing just the opposite as governments and corporations collude to silence certain points of view.
“Americans deserve a full accounting of how their taxpayer dollars were used, and those responsible for violating the public trust should be held accountable,” the Florida conservative added.
Johnson said, “Free speech is fundamental to preserving our liberty. If taxpayer dollars are being used to censor voices because they are critical of the administration’s disastrous policies, every American should be concerned. We need to further investigate this potential First Amendment violation.”
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.