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Who funds the fact checkers?
written by: Richard Willett
Richard has been at Ickonic from the very beginning, when we launched in November 2019. With an Honours Degree in Film and TV Production, Richard found that the mainstream media wasn’t for him, so he dedicated his skills, time and creativity towards building up the alternative media as a place for freedom of expression and a viable option for those looking to earn a living outside the constraints of the mainstream.
The past few years have seen a flurry of so called ‘Fact Checking’ website who appoint themselves as the ministry of truth. The first thing to do when an institution is trying to convince you that something you believe is “fake news” is to investigate that institution and then check who funds them...simple.
According to the website thefactual.com a fact checking website is described in these terms “Compared to general news sites, Fact- Checking sites deliver higher standard of fact-based, minimally biased reporting” Yes they said minimally biased, but who decides what is minimally biased?
According to Crunch base, the website thefactual.com was acquired by Yahoo on September 6 2022. So let’s look at the Yahoo owners shall we? They are owned by Apollo Global Management who’s top share holders include The Vanguard Group who handle funds for their clients, these clients are private and thats often where the trail stops. You often find BlackRock and Vanguard very much involved with each other, Vanguard share holders even own shares in BlackRock.
So what we have here is a website called thefactual.com which is telling you what Fact Check websites to trust, whilst being owned by Yahoo which is owned by Apollo Management who’s shares are purchased through The Vanguard Group who as of December 2022 also manage shares for Pfizer, as do the clients of BlackRock.
You can see how twisted the maze could get.
So what I am getting at here is that there maybe no totally unbiased fact checking websites, because the funding all flows together like the rivers to the sea, through a Maze of hedge funds, investment advisors and end at nameless doorways.
THE MONEY MAZE
So let’s go back to thefactual.com for a moment. According to an article written by Phillip Meylan on 24th May 2022, the most trusted (by their own grading system) fact checking website is factcheck.org (87.4%) . The website factcheck.org states on their funding page “We do not accept funds from corporations with the exception of Facebook, which provides funding as part of Facebooks initiative to debunk viral deceptions, and Google which provided a one time grant to support our Covid-19 coverage in 2020.”
To be fair to factcheck.org they provide a comprehensive list of their funders on their website.
One of the main funders of factcheck.org is the Annnenberg Foundation who are “a philanthropic foundation dedicated to addressing the critical issues of our time through innovation, community, compassion and communication since 1989”.
So who funds the Annenberg Foundation?
Well the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have provided grants to the Annenberg Foundation.
Bill and Melinda Gates also provide donations to the CDC.
So are we to believe that the top site ‘factcheck.org' according to thefactual.com are going to be open to criticism of say, the Covid vaccines when they receive funding from the Annenberg Foundation which in turn receives grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who also provide donations to the CDC and of course their own World Health Organization?
FOLLOW THE MONEY & BELIEVE YOUR OWN EYES
This is just one fairly straight forward example of how impossible it is for these fact checking sites to be completely unbiased, given that there are clearly some crossing over of grants, funding and donations that would lead one to think that the views of what is ‘factual’ and what is ‘disinformation’ could be compromised.
There is reason for concern at the very least.
In 2019 we witnessed the mainstream media telling us that millions of people were becoming sick and many dying due to Covid 19, but when I stepped outside all I really saw were people going along with the most absurd rituals such as wearing face shields, staying a certain distance away from each other and even agreeing to be locked down in their own homes. What I did not see where people falling down in the street, such as seen in the early videos out of Wuhan China which caused such fear and panic the world over.
It is my conclusion that these fact checking sites could be (and those sites that list the most trust worthy fact checking sites) influenced by those who hold the purse strings, often behind several institutions, investment advisors and individuals. I believe this to be a fair and common sense assessment at the very least.
The three key lessons I have taken away from this are:
1. Follow the money
2. Believe your own eyes
3. Nothing is unbiased
What next, an Alien Invasion? Would anybody truly buy that, hey?.…I mean really!
Check out our films ‘War of The Words’, ‘The New Normal’, ‘Another Way’, and ‘A Good Death’ right here on Ickonic.com for more information.
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