Congress Calls In Head Of Advertiser Coalition For Interview On Coordinated Targeting Of Conservative Outlets

 The House Judiciary Committee on Friday requested a transcribed interview with the head of the World Federation of Advertisers’ Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), a group through which the committee says major corporations colluded to try to bankrupt conservative media outlets by withholding advertising dollars.

In the letter obtained exclusively by The Daily Wire, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, asks Robert Rakowitz, the Initiative Lead and Co-founder of GARM, to appear voluntarily before the committee.

“To advance our oversight and inform potential legislation related to this coordination, the Committee must understand how and to what extent WFA and GARM may facilitate collusion,” the letter continued. “As Initiative Lead and Co-founder of GARM, you possess unique and specialized information that will advance the Committee’s oversight and inform legislative reforms. Accordingly, we request that you appear for a transcribed interview with the Committee.”

Jordan adds in the letter the committee’s belief that GARM “may be acting inconsistent with U.S. antitrust laws and congressional intent by coordinating GARM members’ efforts to demonetize and eliminate disfavored content online.”

The missive is the latest piece of evidence that Republicans are turning to anti-trust protections — a monopoly-busting tool once heralded by the political Left — to target corporations who, even while nominally competitors, band together to push a political agenda.

GARM has sought to set standards that block major corporations from advertising on media outlets that various partisan ratings firms claim promote “misinformation.” Such ratings firms have rated mainstream, center-right publications like Reason Magazine and the New York Post as untrustworthy, while dutifully enforcing government lines such as claiming the coronavirus lab leak theory is a conspiracy theory–even though the government now says it’s likely true.

GARM did not return a request for comment from The Daily Wire.

The Judiciary Committee said in an earlier letter that it has already received GARM documents that show that it was targeting media outlets specifically because of their politics, and that those outlets include The Daily Wire, Fox News, and Breitbart.

Previous letters requesting documents “relating to the categorization, demonetization, or elimination of online speech” went to major corporations on GARM’s “steering committee” — Unilever, Procter & Gamble, GroupM, Diageo, and Mars — saying the documents “directly connect” the companies with such efforts.

The Daily Wire previously reported:

WFA announced the GARM’s creation at the 2019 Cannes festival, a gathering of global elites, amidst complaints about “disinformation” and “fake news,” but later that year said it would become a flagship project of the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s “Platform for Shaping the Future of Media, Entertainment and Culture.” …

GARM says it provides members with “Brand Safety.” For-profit firms like Newsguard have shown what that means in practice: Companies that might buy ads are given lists of what TV programs, channels, podcasts, or newspapers are either safe to advertise on or should be avoided. This is billed as avoiding risks to their reputation or boycotts—essentially saying that if a company wants to avoid boycotts from the Left or smear campaigns, they should not do business with certain media outlets. …

The challenge of meaningfully steering the entire media ecosystem was “big,” it said, yet GARM included 61 major companies that buy a large portion of the advertising in the world, as well as 35 separate industry associations that represent many more advertisers.

The WFA, along with the Global Disinformation Index, Newsguard, and other firms that would profit from “disinformation” crackdowns, lobbied the European Union for a “Strengthened Code of Practice on Disinformation” in 2022.

Congress Calls In Head Of Advertiser Coalition For Interview On Coordinated Targeting Of Conservative Outlets Congress Calls In Head Of Advertiser Coalition For Interview On Coordinated Targeting Of Conservative Outlets Reviewed by Your Destination on April 15, 2024 Rating: 5

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