NewsGuard Packs Board with Neo Conservatives, D.C. Power Players

Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz, co-CEOs of NewsGuard
D Dipasupil and Stephen Chernin /Getty

Newsguard, the purportedly non-partisan browser extension aimed at rating the trustworthiness of news websites, is created and backed by a founding team and advisory board packed with neoconservatives and Obama-Clinton alumni, as well the Trump-hating former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden.

Newsguard, which assigns websites a “red” or “green” rating to signal their trustworthiness, is currently installed by default for users of the Microsoft Edge browser on smartphones. A spokesman for Microsoft said the company wants to “help our customers evaluate news sources.”

What Microsoft didn’t tell its users was that the team behind Newsguard are all swamp creatures, part of the same media-political bubble brought us fake news debacles like the bogus Iraq WMD story, and “Bin Laden’s secret fortress.”

Newsguard was co-founded by journalist and author Steven Brill, and L. Gordon Crovitz, the former publisher of the Wall Street Journal. 

Crovitz has a long pedigree in neoconservative circles. As far back as the 1980s, Crovitz can be found defending neocon policy objectives, including the covert sales of arms via Iran to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, which sparked the explosive Iran-Contra scandal.

Crovitz is also a member of numerous establishment think-tanks, including the Council on Foreign Relations and the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI), whose other members have included Iraq war cheerleaders Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz.

Newsguard’s advisory board is, if anything, even more neocon. It includes the first Secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush, Tom Ridge, vocal Trump critic and former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden, and a former speechwriter to George W. Bush’s Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

It goes without saying that the website of the now-defunct Weekly Standard, the most vocal cheerleader for the bloody Iraq war in 2003 — waged on the basis of fake news about chemical weapons and the regime’s purported links to Al Qaeda — is given a “green” rating by Newsguard.

Completing the picture of an outpost for exiled members of the deep state, other members of the board include alumni of the Clinton and Obama administrations.

One of the top investors in Newsguard is John McCarter, a member of the Atlantic Council’s International Advisory Board. The Atlantic Council, a think tank made up of leading lights of America’s foreign policy establishment (including Henry Kissinger), has also been advising Facebook on tackling fake news around the world.

Shortly before the 2018 midterm elections, Facebook banned a vast number of anti-war, anti-establishment news pages. Many were harsh critics of America’s foreign policy establishment.

Then there are the connections to establishment media: Crovitz himself is on the board of Business Insider, while another board member is the co-founder of Wired, a technology magazine that has shifted to the far left in recent years. Both Wired and Business Insider are given “green” ratings by Newsguard.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to


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