Judson Berger writes for National Review Online about misuse of the label “disinformation.”

Yet more evidence has surfaced that the “disinformation” panic is undermining a free and open press — or at least is being exploited to enforce ideological uniformity.

Gabe Kaminsky with the Washington Examiner, who has been assiduously tracking the efforts by “Disinformation Inc.” to blacklist conservative news, says he’s obtained leaked data from an ad-industry whistleblower on how a media-investment company “blacklisted conservative media outlets and labeled them as ‘disinformation’ or ‘hate speech’ before the 2020 presidential election.”

That list reportedly included National Review — as well as the Washington Examiner, Breitbart, the Daily Caller, and others. Even Drudge Report, which as anybody with a dial-up connection knows is simply a (widely read) bulletin board with links to various news sources, was listed. We at NR can take solace at being labeled merely “disinformation,” not “hate speech.” Small miracles, folks.

Such sweeping judgments about not an individual claim or article but of media outlets’ entire work product are of course absurd. But the effects of these lists could be corrosive, democratically speaking, considering they’re essentially an effort to demonetize non-mainstream media. … The authors have the clout to do real damage: The outfit here, GroupM, comprises an array of agencies, with well-heeled clients ranging from Google to Coke to Uber. Its website says it is “responsible for more than $60 billion in annual media investment” and is “shaping the next era of media.”

GroupM would hardly be the only entity attempting a proactive, ESG-style approach to “shaping” media. But … these kinds of blacklists sure look like shoddy and partisan exercises; the list Gabe Kaminsky obtained, like others of its kind, includes only conservative sites. In rationalizing the biases and assumptions of corporate America’s executive class, these blacklists are a whitewash.