NewsGuard Gives ‘Green’ Rating to Repeated Hoax Publisher Rolling Stone, ‘Red’ to Critics

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

NewsGuard, the establishment “news rating” project that claims to fight untrustworthy media outlets, continues to give its seal of approval to Rolling Stone, a partisan leftist magazine that has repeatedly fallen for high profile hoaxes.

The co-CEO of NewsGuard, Steven Brill, told Breitbart News that the organization is reviewing its categorization of Rolling Stone in light of the magazine’s latest failure, its republication of unverified claims of an Oklahoma doctor who said hospitals in the state were overflowing due to ivermectin overdose cases.

However, as of today, Rolling Stone continues to receive a “green” stamp of approval from NewsGuard, as do establishment media that uncritically repeated its reporting, including the Hill, the BBC, and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow speaks during a Democratic presidential candidate forum at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.  (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

All of the major news outlets that republished the story also have a “green” approval badge from NewsGuard.

Meanwhile, independent news websites that highlighted Rolling Stone’s massive reporting error, including Breitbart News, the Epoch Times, and TownHall, get a “red” warning label from NewsGuard.

NewsGuard maintains a list of news outlets it considers “trustworthy” and “untrustworthy,” data which it uses in a browser extension that users can add on to various mainstream browsers, including Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. When the extension is installed, it displays red warning labels alongside links to websites NewsGuard considers untrustworthy, and green labels next to links to websites it considers trustworthy.

In 2019, NewsGuard partnered with Microsoft in a deal that made it a default extension on Edge Mobile browsers.

Users viewing search results with the NewsGuard browser extension switched on will see a red warning label on Breitbart News’ fact-check of Rolling Stone. 

Meanwhile, no such warning appears next to Rolling Stone’s original fake news article. Users are told that the left-wing magazine, which recently ran a headline (for a news article, not an opinion piece) claiming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is “determined to put kids in danger,” in fact “adheres to basic standards of credibility.”

NewsGuard also claims that Rolling Stone “does not repeatedly publish false content,” even though the publication is infamous for falling for hoaxes. In addition to publishing the Oklahoma doctor’s claims without looking into them, the magazine was responsible for one of the biggest media scandals in recent memory, when it published fraudulent rape claims against a fraternity at the University of Virginia in 2014. Despite being exposed early on, it took Rolling Stone nearly five months to formally retract the story.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.


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