Via America’s Lawyer: A new company called NewsGuard claims to be able to protect audiences from ‘fake news,’ while being funded by pharmaceutical companies. Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             A new company called NewsGuard says that they can protect you from fake news, but the corporations funding that group have real different motives. This is an amazing story. Lay it out for us. I mean, this is such an extraordinary story. I go, really? This is happening in 2020. Go ahead.

Farron Cousins:                  Well you actually, it starts with a very well respected guy, Steve Brill, started court TV. Was a, was a great lawyer.

Mike Papantonio:             Ah, I wouldn’t go that far, but anyway.

Farron Cousins:                  Decides he wants to help fight fake news, you know, very noble cause. And so he says, well, in order to fight fake news and create NewsGuard, I’m going to need some money. So he goes to this group called Publicis Groupe, and it turns out that Publicis Groupe is funded in part, a lot of their money, billions of dollars is coming from healthcare companies, from pharmaceutical companies. The very companies that control the corporate media have now paid in a couple million dollars to help Mr Brill found this NewsGuard app plugin, I guess for your, for your browser, that’s now going to tell you when you go to a website, oh, NewsGuard says this is fake. Or NewsGuard says this is a green light, we approve of what’s on this site.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. Let me comment two things about what you just said. Brill has always been a corporate lawyer. He’s never done anything for consumers. I mean, really he, whatever he wants to sell, the guy is center of corporate America. These are the people that Mr Brill and this company went to to try to get funding for this. Follow me. Eli Lilly, Abbott, Roche, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, I mean, it’s, it’s a lineup of the worst offenders of defective pharmaceuticals in the country. Now, what is going to happen is when we do a story like this, if you were to go to NewsGuard, right, NewsGuard would tell you don’t go to that site because they’re telling stories that are fake news. This is not fake news. This is absolutely, fortunately, you had a great writer that, that handle, that’s handling this, this story who’s done all the investigation. And he says, look, if you believe this, if you believe the ratings that NewsGuard gives, then you’re kidding yourselves into under, you’re kidding yourselves about the truth of the matter.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, well NewsGuard has already rated RT, they say RT is fake news. They say Daily Kos is fake news, according to NewsGuard.

Mike Papantonio:             Really?

Farron Cousins:                  Breitbart, Daily Caller. So it’s, it’s left, It’s right. It’s everything that doesn’t fit into NewsGuard’s narrative.

Mike Papantonio:             Which is pro corporation.

Farron Cousins:                  Right, of what news is. If it’s not New York Times or Washington Post, it’s not real.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  But right now, investigative journalism is not taking place at these traditional media outlets. It’s taking place with these independent outlets that NewsGuard says, sorry, you’re fake.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. If it’s not corporate, if it’s not pro pharmaceutical, if it’s not pro, pro chemical, if it’s not pro Wall Street, then it’s fake news. Now what about the idiot who says, yeah, I’m going to use this? What about the idiot who says, I’m gonna use Snopes? Snopes is the same thing. You’ve got some cat with a clear agenda that’s saying, don’t go to this site because they’re not telling the truth. No, it’s don’t go to this site because they’re saying things that are scaring the bejesus out of us because the corporate backing on this is deplorable. So if you want to believe Pfizer or you want to believe an independent source, they’re saying, oh, you can believe Pfizer, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas. You can believe them, don’t, but don’t believe that site.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, see with, with Snopes. I disagree with this author’s assessment of them.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  I, I think that that’s, that’s inaccurate what he said about them. But with the NewsGuard, this is absolutely, the funding has been traced. You see it in the documents. This group got money from a group that gets their money from these healthcare industries.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, which hasn’t been proven by Snopes. But who wants a organization like Snopes making that decision for you, right?

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.