ProPublica: The Attack Arm of the Democratic Party (Pt. 1)

by | Nov 6, 2023 | Information War

The Left’s media-industrial complex is in full swing, and ProPublica is one more cog in that fear-spreading machine. It’s time conservatives learn the truth behind this “trusted” investigative outlet.

ProPublica boasts that it’s a straight-down-the-middle muckraker working to “expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust.” In reality, that couldn’t be anything further from the truth.

From its founding, to the recent smear campaign against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to an ever-growing mountain of articles slanted against conservative values, it’s all too clear that ProPublica has slowly morphed into the attack arm of the Democrat Party—a role it was arguably created to serve.

A simple examination of ProPublica’s history and donors is enough to demonstrate that the group has always been an undercover, left-leaning publication; but to remove all doubt, Restoration News reviewed over 700 articles written between 2022 and 2023 to discover just how biased they really are.

The results are shocking for a newsroom that claims to be “unbiased,” but they corroborate the conclusion that many have already reached: ProPublica disproportionately attacks conservative and Republican values—all at the whim of its wealthy, ideologically driven donors on the Left.

Catch Bronson Winslow on the First Right Podcast here

The worst part is, this news organization frames its work to seem neutral and unbiased while touting “nothing but the facts, ma’am” journalism through its publishing partners across the nation.

We make no secret that our objective is to equip conservatives for the battlefield of America’s information war with the “progressive” Left. We arm ourselves with the truth. In that light, we recognize that some of ProPublica’s reporting is fair and balanced, and appreciate that the group provides an important service in publishing thousands of IRS nonprofit tax forms for free on its website every year—one which is helpful for investigative journalists studying how our nonprofits are abused by ideologues for partisan gain.

Yet a few useful services cannot outweigh the biases of ProPublica nor the damage it’s wrought to the conservative movement. It’s time for ProPublica to be honest and upfront with its readers and publishing partners about just where it stands in service to the Left’s increasingly radical political agenda, so the American people can make up their minds.

Uncovering the Bias

The bulk of ProPublica’s reporting, roughly two-thirds, is not political, and we won’t pretend that it is. But the remaining content is political and overwhelmingly favors the Left while attacking conservatives.

Here is our evidence:

Following an extensive review of over 700 articles (published between January 2022 and September 2023), Restoration News found ProPublica is 23 times more likely to attack conservatives than the Left.

Of the 716 articles reviewed, 242 were politically slanted, with a large disparity between anti-liberal and anti-leftist pieces. In total, 232 were anti-conservative and 10 were anti-left.

That’s just the beginning. A careful inspection of ProPublica’s content-producing staff revealed the same bias, as the majority of employees who had declared a party were registered Democrats. In a review of 65 staff members (editors and reporters), Restoration News found that—of the 35 where political affiliation could be established—27 were registered as Democrats to a meager 3 registered Republicans.

It’s a “credible” tool used to promote leftist ideas on the front page of newspapers across the nation—a surprisingly easy feat considering ProPublica has hundreds of publishing partners around the nation that label the publication as “unbiased,” or often leave them unlabeled.

Consider that ProPublica is often characterized as a nonprofit “watchdog” rather than as a partisan group by left-leaning and “mainstream” publications, if it’s characterized at all. Contrast that with these same publications’ treatment of conservative groups as biased, partisan, or ideologically motivated. That’s a credibility it doesn’t deserve.

Smear the Supreme Court

There’s no better example of ProPublica’s role in advancing the Left’s agenda than its smear campaign against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—part of a larger campaign to take over the nation’s highest court by forcing out its conservative members or packing the court with reliable “progressives.”

ProPublica’s smear campaign against Justice Clarence Thomas

ProPublica launched its first salvo in April 2023, with an assault on Thomas that alleged he’d violated the ethics laws by vacationing with longtime friend and billionaire Harlan Crow, according to ProPublica’s “ethical experts.” The publication called into question the pair’s lavish yacht trips and luxury resorts, which Thomas had failed to properly disclose.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board was among the first to push back against the growing narrative, slamming ProPublica for making unsubstantiated claims clothed in suggestive rhetoric:

The piece is loaded with words and phrases intended to convey that this is all somehow disreputable: “superyacht”; “luxury trips”; “exclusive California all-male retreat”; “sprawling ranch”; “private chefs”; “elegant accommodation”; “opulent lodge”; “lavishing the justice with gifts.” And more. Adjectival overkill is the method of bad polemicists who don’t have much to report.

Despite the opinions presented in ProPublica’s report—many from organizations that also donate to ProPublica and other groups that continually target Thomas—legal experts across the nation began to weigh in on the claim with dissenting opinions.

“Justice Thomas’ critics cannot convince the public that his approach to judging or his individual decisions are legally incorrect, so they and their media enablers drop innuendos and incomplete information, hoping…that uninformed people will assume the worst,” Thomas Jipping, senior legal fellow for Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, told the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF).

The following month, ProPublica doubled down on its claims, accusing Thomas of hiding his grandson’s tuition, which Crow had paid for.

Crow defended his generosity by pointing out that he’s always been passionate about quality education and has sponsored many children’s educations before. “It’s disappointing that those with partisan political interests would try to turn helping at-risk youth with tuition assistance into something nefarious or political,” he said.

But Crow wasn’t the real target. ProPublica further savaged Thomas for a 2014 real estate deal with Crow in which Crow’s company bought a string of properties from Thomas, his mother, and his late brother’s family for $133,363 (hardly a fortune).

According to Crow, he’d purchased the properties with the intent of turning them into a public museum that highlights Thomas’ compelling life story. Thomas later announced that he would amend his disclosure to include the real estate deal, but noted he did not initially think to include them, as he didn’t profit on the sale.

“With each new hit piece, the Left is revealing its true motive: to impugn Justice Thomas by any means necessary, no matter how ridiculous the charge,” Carrie Severino, Judicial Crisis Network president and former clerk to Justice Thomas, told the DCNF.

Thomas’s relationship with Crow is longstanding, and many things such as personal stays in friends’ homes are not required to be disclosed, according to Jipping. Furthermore, the tuition from Thomas’s grandson was given to the school and not to Thomas personally, while the real estate deal with Crow—supposedly proof of crooked deals with a wealthy Republican donor—actually proved a financial loss for Thomas.

In fact, if the Thomas investigation confirmed anything it’s that ProPublica is a blatantly left-wing publication.

To date, ProPublica has released a stunning eight investigations into Thomas. In each case it’s the same story: Attacking the credibility of the Supreme Court while turning a blind eye to any misdeeds by the court’s “progressive” justices.

In Part 2, we investigate the “dark money” donors behind ProPublica from the very start—and how ProPublica attacked conservatives and the Trump administration for years. Click here.

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