The fake guardians of fake news

Lynne McTaggart

It sounded so welcome – such an antidote to fake news. Their name is NewsGuard and they call themselves ‘The Internet Trust Tool.’ As they claim on their website, ‘We tell you if a site is reliable as you browse online news.’

All you do is download the app for a small monthly fee and a crackerjack team of top journalists will ping you a thumbs up or a thumbs down on websites based on nine criteria they’ve created about their credibility and transparency.

I thought of this after it was recently announced that the intelligence community has been enlisted by the UK and US governments to help to counter misinformation about Covid-19, the Covid vaccine and more.

Some politicians are even recommending that reporting unfavorably on Covid vaccination become a criminal offense.

And here in the UK the papers announced that the tech industry (Google, Facebook, Twitter) was getting in on the act to help governments counter fake information about the pandemic.

There are a number of such organizations like this out there (, for instance), wedded to rooting out the truth, particularly the truth about health care, and last year we heard from one of them.

A representative from NewsGuard called our offices of our company, asking to speak to our CEO. My husband Bryan Hubbard (who is, indeed, the CEO) called them back and spoke to a young woman, who seemed surprised that we returned her call.

She was calling, she said, because her organization had read some of the material on our website of our health magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You (, and they were concerned that we seemed to be anti-vaccination and anti-medicine.

‘We are not anti-vaccination,’ replied Bryan. ‘We are pro-truth.’ He explained that all our material on conventional medicine comes from the medical literature.

He cited our main sources – magazines like the British Medical Journal and the New England Journal of Medicine written by scientists and doctors for scientists and doctors. We list medical and scientific references in every article reporting on conventional medicine and much integrative medicine, too.

He also mentioned that information about the side effects of vaccines is well known. There is, for instance, America’s Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a no-fault scheme for the pharmaceutical industry, which contains reports on side effects from vaccines and compensates victims who suffer serious side effects.

Thus far, Bryan told her, VAERS has paid out nearly $4 billion in compensation. One law firm reports that it pays out more than $200 million a year. This is well known and reasonably well reported.

‘Well, you seem to write a lot about vaccination,’ she said. Bryan replied that we write about loads of other topics, too.

The woman then told Bryan to show her the evidence. She gave him a list of everything she wanted to see happening to improve our reporting in the future.

Bryan told her that since our company’s day rate was $1000, we’d expect compensation for this.

She said she would call him back to see if he’d indeed carried out the suggestions, she gave him and hung up.

We never heard from her again. But no doubt we are on the naughty step of the app.

It takes a little time to unravel who is supporting such organizations, since they look so credible – filled with former journalists of such well-regarded outlets as the Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic.

You need to dig deeper, to look at who’s behind NewsGuard – namely, the investors. The chief investor of NewsGuard, and which underwrote its start-up funds, is Publicis Groupe, the third largest communications corporation in the world, which offers ‘advertising and communications services to a diversified customer portfolio that is representative of the global economy.’ To get an idea of its size, Publicis employs 84,000 people and has a net revenue of nearly 9 billion Euros.

Publicis Groupe is an octopus with many arms, one of which is a specialized business in healthcare, including tentacles such as Digitas Health and Publicis Health Media.

According to a recent annual report, clients of their health division include AstraZeneca, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, Glaxosmith Kline, Merck & Co, Novartis Pharma, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi and more.

In other words, the giants of the pharmaceutical industry.

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola (also on the naughty step), Glaxo paid $1.5 billion to Publicis to handle its media account in 2018 and in 2020 gave former Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Brands, now owned by GKS, to Publicis, an account worth an estimated $400 million. Publicis even has set up a ‘platformGSK’ which essentially runs the drug giant's media business.

So now we have Big Pharma paying a PR firm to create a ‘news’ organization wedded to sifting out ‘fake’ news – ie, news not compatible with the narrative developed and distributed by the drug industry. It reminds me of Sense about Science, the lobbying group that tried to dispel the myths about sugar being bad for you until it was discovered that the organization was receiving funds from Coca Cola.

What this means is that all of us have to be exceedingly wary of any organization claiming to be rooting out fake news. Because you need to ask yourself, in every instance, who is making the determination of what is fake and what is real?

If this is the alternative, I’d rather decide that for myself.

In the meantime, I’m thinking of sending NewsGuard a subscription to WDDTY. Then perhaps they’ll get their facts straight.

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Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

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48 comments on “The fake guardians of fake news”

  1. Great story. The day the pharma companies were exonerated from any responsibility for the vaccines they manufacture (1986 I think) was the day to relinquished all trust in the medical system...which over the years I basically have. The main street media and most fact checkers are bought and paid for by can see this when drug adds appear around the clock on almost every TV show and even including Sunday NFL football games. We have to search for the truth between the cracks and I thank you for providing information that is not tainted and is factual and trustworthy.

  2. Exactly the same paradigm as Fakebook poking its unwanted nose into articles posted on its pages that it, in its absolute discretion, decides are "misinformation." As has been seen necessary so many, many times in human history, exactly who polices the police?

    Long ago, I laid aside the need for a Mummy and Daddy in my life. As Lynne writes, "... I’d rather decide that for myself..." — thank you.

  3. Not sure if you are familiar with but I think their coverage on COVID (and of course the old ways weren't working- but I think as first principle truth is important)/ UK/US politics and Great Reset is excellent.

  4. So grateful for your brilliant work in the interest of public safety, Dear Lynne! Thank You for this brilliant article -- and all the ones that precede it.

    When my son was 12, nearly four decades ago, he experienced muscle strain in the process of the heavy lifting that accompanied our move to another home. I took him to the pediatrician who insisted on expensive blood tests and xrays. After verifying for himself that it was, indeed, nothing more than muscle strain, he prescribed Valium for a 12-year old child. That marked the end of our faith in -- and patronage of conventional medicine.

    Thank You for leading and lighting the way with your well-researched information about the many alternatives that really do support our health and well-being rather than the phamaceutical industry.

  5. Oh well done Lynne! It appears that the whole of 2020 has been an exercise in vigilance. Our blythe assumption that medicine and those who work in it are always doing the best for our health has now been severely tested. Thank goodness for the information available on all the alternatives we can now access if we do not want to go down the pharmacological routes. It is disappointing that so many humans are hooked on the belief that money is the pot of gold to be worked for rather than simple good health from eating well, resting well, doing work that gives you joy ( following your bliss) and getting up the ladder of success,( only to find it is against the wrong wall) quoted from J. Campbell. Fear keeps us foolish but the price of freedom is endless vigilance. Your information and words always inspire.

  6. Thankyou for this grist for the mill. As ever you are so professional and sure of your facts. I love it. Aileen

  7. Keep up the good work. I expect the ''naughty step'' to become very overcrowded very soon. Let's all take cushions and a flask of something hot - to share!
    ''We shall overcome ........'' We just have to use our heads and stop running with the 'flock'.. otherwise we'll be off the cliff like the lemmings.
    We have to save our great British Democracy and our freedom!!
    Let go of all the fear!

  8. Bravo Lynne and I loved your husband’s responses. It will is true. As a former public relations VP in the top four agencies in Canada - I can say this is exactly how it works, and has for years. I’m not in that world anymore but my close friend is President of Veritas. That’s how it works with all big pharma. Thank you for all you do.

  9. Thanks Lynn, keep up your great work please. We really need true sources of information at this time and I for one so appreciate your work and diligence in the face of insurmountable pressure

  10. Lynne, thank you for revealing the financial backers of NewsGuard.

    Rather than confronting them with the facts as you present here, I emailed them requesting a list of the names of the organisations that financially support NewsGuard. I await a reply.

  11. Thanks Lynne for the info. I am sorry to say I trust nothing the “news” has to say and I trust Pharma even less. Money makes people lie! Have you ever read the informative handed you with a prescription? “...up to and including death” is not a possible “ bad reaction” I am willing to take. How terrifying.

  12. This is obviously a global issue.
    Same intention, same methods, same results: same master?
    In France, the "serious" newspaper "Le Monde" is very active at tracking any non governmental opinions especially about sars2, alternative health approaches, qualifying most critics as lies or conspiration theory
    Warnings pop up on Facebook etc...
    If I get such warning, I know now that there is probably something worth looking at.. 🙂
    Thank you Lynne for your inspiring and positive contributions to our world; being about health, science, spirituality
    let us keep a good mood, and spread peace, light and love around us with the power of intentions from our hearts.
    Yours sincerely

  13. Good vs evil , the fight continues . Good has Truth as it's authority . Evil has no authority , just a negative agenda to cling on to power over mankind . An agenda which seems to failing as increasing efforts to gag truth continues .

  14. This is a travesty in the making, Lynne. What FullFact and the like fail to grasp is that there is huge uncertainty over the science and to provide a glossy view of any medical intervention without ever exposing let even talking about its not so pleasant (effective or safe) underbelly, or the fact that drugs remain the third biggest cause of death in the West [] is itself an acceptance of monstrous bias. Let's keep shining the light on things others wish to ignore or hide from view. Keep up the great work - and huge thank you to both you, Bryan Caitlin, Trevor and the rest of your team for pulling such a fabulous Get Well Virtual Show together last week! Rob

  15. Thank you Lynne, Bryan and team!!! We need you so badly and we need to all work together to expose these corrupt practices and organizations. Please keep on top of this and share on Facebook and other platforms so we can get the information out!
    Many Blessings from Victoria, B.C., Canada.

  16. It would be very useful if the vaccine distributors were to state clearly what the side-effects to taking any of the vaccines are.

  17. We live in such strange times. I wonder what the legal situation is in terms of vaccination exemption. Surely under common law- the state has no right. Thanks for the excellent article.

  18. Free speech is free speech. That means you write whatever you like, and nobody takes it down or "shadow bans" it, and you don't have to justify it to governmental or industry-funded "watchdogs." You're open, as you should be, to libel charges if you falsely defame someone, but not censorship. Partial free speech is bit like partial pregnancy. God help us when all our information comes to us having been sanitized by those in power. And as the great funk artist George Clinton said, "Censorship is worse than anything anyone could ever say."

    The "pandemic," whatever its reality (and I increasingly believe it's a hoax), it's certainly been convenient for those who are looking to concentrate economic and political power and reduce most of humanity to a state of dependency. Despite massive evidence that whatever diseases are prevalent, they're anything but an existential threat justifying suicidal economic, social and health policies; and despite the glaring counterexamples of Sweden, Belarus and Japan - where they've eschewed shutdowns, lockdowns and mandatory distancing/masking, yet have had a much better summer and fall than the USA; the authorities and their media handmaidens keep pounding out the message that only draconian measures - including coerced vaccines - can keep us "safe."

  19. Amen. The drug companies can't even be bothered to use legitimate controls in their vaccine tests - they use previously approved vaccines or toxic adjuvants; then they can say the safety of the new vaccine is no worse than that of the control. Harvard Medical School studied the issue of adverse vaccine events, over several years, within the Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare system, working in close communication with the CDC to develop a tracking system that wouldn't miss any adverse events. However, once the team reported its preliminary results, in which they stated, "[Nationwide,] fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported," they were "ghosted" by the CDC and couldn't get the necessary cooperation to complete the study: "Unfortunately, there was never an opportunity to perform system performance assessments because the necessary CDC contacts were no longer available and the CDC consultants responsible for receiving data were no longer responsive to our multiple requests to proceed with testing and evaluation." Certainly, public health, even that of our precious, vulnerable children, is NOT a priority.

  20. It doesn't look like the "reply" feature is working. My previous post was meant to be a reply to Tom's excellent comment, put it was recorded as a new post.

  21. So perfectly stated. It is a time where learning that we are responsible for what we believe is truth. Depending on anyone without looking deeper into the purse strings that ultimately control the editorial slant, is missing the cues to truth which in this society are well hidden from websites. It takes a bit of time to find it. Thank you for exposing this site. I always take a second look when anyone claims to be a "truth" or "facts" site. I call this doing my homework, which I find that too many Americans do not take the time to do. Even when we have to make an assessment between two evils, it takes doing one's homework to decipher which is the best choice. Consciousness advances in steps and waves. But we cannot advance in the most physical way without seeking out the actual facts. TY!

  22. Bless you both for all that you do in spreading the truth.
    Thank you for digging deeper into the truth and shining the light on those that claim they are the authorities of the truth.

    I see the polarity that is happening on our beloved planet as helping us go inward to find our inner truth. Even if it is different to others, that is OK.

  23. Lynn , I wish you and Bryan all the strength you need to carry on with both your wonderful WDDTY and your Intention course which I am enjoying this year . I can’t believe the corruption that is around and mis information. I look to you to carry on and shout as loud as you can to tell everyone. I tried to subscribe to WDDTY again this week but could not make the website work. I will phone on Monday .
    Best wishes

  24. Wow that was quite a day for Brian!! Thank you for being on the front lines and the naughty list!!! ❤️❤️

  25. This was such a breath of fresh air! Thank you Lynne and Bryan for standing up for the truth and for letting us all know the behind the scenes way it went down. That I got to laugh at you husband's quick wit was such a relief. I know that you, Dr. Mercola, and all the others who are sharing your perceptions and evidence are inspiring a gazillion others to do the same. Standing with you! THANK YOU!!! If those supposed experts advocated boosting immunity with Vitamin C, D, Zinc and/or exercise, which conventional research proves effective, I'd be a whole lot more willing to believe COVID is what they say it is...

  26. Thank you for your research on Newsgard; this would be difficult for most of us to research for ourselves. It's quite an eye opener! Disheartening to again see big corps, big money, pretending to care about us honestly, but this is the way that it is. Again, thanks for sharing your whole experience.

  27. It'd be a waste of ink on your part- besides, you'd only be giving them more ammunition for further harassment.

  28. Thank you so much for sharing your scientific truths. Very thorough and very brave. It is necessary to unravel these practices.

  29. Very ...very depressing news.
    I, as a severe Lyme disease patient, made a few rather uneasy remarks about vaccines. This because I fell ill shortly after a few vaccinations and have been wondering whether some of the chronic ailments and persistence might also have to do with vaccin- injury. I also have been wondering why so many young women are chronically ill. I am blocked now from FB. Something terrible is happening at the moment and we can only hope that honesty, innocence, creativity, critical thinking and the solidarity between peaceful people will win this.

  30. Thank you, Lynne,
    its saddening, disappointing, frustrating, challenging and sometimes just plain hilarious and funny.
    Is there an organisation(s) that counter this huge trend of actual 'mis-information'?
    I am listening in to what comes from you and WDDTY, lately I have subscribed to JFK Jr 'The Defender' which provides excellent counterbalance and information to the mainstream narrative. How can we bring this out into an actual open debate ie Vaccines and their safety?
    I have send an Open Letter from the World Doctors Alliance to my MP, to my GP and nothing in response from them. My MP has been very good at replying to things other than this Open Letter before, not in a typical pre-formulated fashion.
    How can we create better networks, resilient networks to create a safe space for open discussion? Maybe the answer is that we currently cannot until such time that the Big Pharma monopoly has been managed, put into its place of service to health rather than creating meds and more meds for monetary gains primarily.....

  31. History tells us everything.
    People are controlled by propaganda storms and streams.
    How much money, power and control is enough for those few who are doing all of this?

  32. Wow! Well done you people. I am just so grateful that you exist. We all need this kind of information, and I for one don't know where I could find it, other than from you. I hope they don't know where you live.

  33. I love you and WTDDTY
    I’ve been following you for about 16 years . Thank you to you and hubby Bryan for providing us parents with adequate information to make informed decisions . Too much fake news out there .

  34. Thank you, Lynne, for this latest in-depth information - and wake-up call. It is sinister how devious methods are employed to brainwash gullible members of the general public. Donald Trump's shout-out of 'false news' directed at anything, anyone or any media outlet he rejected, now seems to be used as a trigger to sway public opinion into accepting as 'fact' much that is fiction.

    That Big Pharma is becoming further entrenched in their battle to stop the public from questioning their ethics and efficacy would indicate a mounting concern on their part. Yes, Social Media has its bad press yet, on a positive note, it also offer a platform for more open investigation, debate and, for the discerning, more 'choice'. If censorship infiltrates the various Social Media channels then it will be time to investigate alternative avenues to broadcast uncensored communication because in the end 'truth' will out.

  35. Thank you for this open minded article. I think we all need to keep ourselves alert and make sure that what big corporate or big pharma does or says is not taken automatically as truth. We all need to check things out for ourselves and also we are all different and risk can be a very personal thing too. Information is vital and so is research and testing on behalf of the general population for which drugs and vaccines are supposed to be for.

  36. Excellent! Well done both of you. Keep up the good work. It's hard working digging for TRUTH these days.

  37. Hahaha, indeed the eternal conflicts of interests permeate all levels of society, especially the top tiers, and the governments.
    Your testimony just shows that we have reached a point when most ppl don't know what to believe anymore.
    As a psychological strategy, it is absolutely foolproof: ppl start doubting everything everywhere, many wouldn't know how or take the time to check every piece of info, this in turn creates chaos, uncertainty, fear, and discord on matters that are sometimes vital for us to know the truth about them.
    The lack of unity on any subject these days - particularly about covid, how serious it really is, and the resulting measures that infringes on billions of ppl freedom, the reliability of the vaccin (big pharma/goverments & more conflicts of interests for which we already pay the price), the uncertainty about the info out there - makes it an ideal field to be used for mis/disinformation and to create less and less unity among the populations of the world.
    In this cacophony, the small voice of truth doesn't reach the surface anymore.

  38. Love this, Lynne! Well done. we are deeply in need of fact checkers to check our fact checkers. Why people think with just a handful of monoliths owning our news sources for the last decades that we can trust mainstream media sources, I do not know. I think you are in a very powerful and necessary position to help educate people, both from the spiritual, energetic, as well as a concrete perspective on integrity in journalism and the consequences of our current system, which is largely bereft of journalistic accountability and integrity. Keep it coming, PLEASE!

  39. Lynne, you do us a fantastic service in presenting this information which shows how deep are the vested-interest tentacles of the drug companies. As you would know, your basic premise is backed by a top medical scientist. The former Editor-In-Chief of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, Marcia Angel, wrote about what she had seen in a long career publishing drug company research. The title of her book says it all: 'The Truth About the Drug Companies - How They Deceive Us and What To Do About It'. Needless to say, Dr Angel had to have retired before she released such a book.
    And I remember many years ago, a drug company CEO saying, "We don't like healthy people because they don't use our drugs". This comment may have been tongue-in-cheek, but how true!

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