The First Amendment has long been understood as settling matters where government manipulation of the press is concerned.

“Congress shall make no law,” the text plainly states, “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

The amendment is so clear that only a politician could manage to miss the point.

And when politicians miss the point of a straightforward, necessary protection, they manage to find all kinds of people willing to help them place ideology above constitutionality, common sense and simple decency.

We give you the Biden State Department and NewsGuard.

NewsGuard bills itself “The Internet Trust Tool” and purports to offer “transparent tools to counter misinformation for readers, brands, and democracies,” which admittedly sounds impressive.

But what is the likely outcome when the US government funds this corporation through something called the Global Engagement Center?

A lawsuit Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed in federal court Wednesday along with The Daily Wire and The Federalist declares the outcome was the State Department funding technology that could “render disfavored press outlets unprofitable.”

Conservative voices, it says, are being suppressed.

And when they’re suppressed, their advertising revenues drop.

And if their advertising revenues drop far enough, they will eventually be forced to exit the market.

We know this to be NewsGuard’s modus operandi because it did this to us at the American Institute for Economic Research.

In October 2020, AIER hosted the conference that produced the Great Barrington Declaration, a statement that opposed the use of lockdowns during the COVID pandemic.

The GBD’s text went viral, but it also provoked the wrath of the federal government.

National Institutes of Health chief Francis Collins instructed Anthony Fauci to wage a “quick and devastating published take down” of the document, which was the first major scientific challenge to their disastrous lockdown strategy.

The GBD also placed us on NewsGuard’s radar, prompting the organization to conduct a “fact-check” rating of our website.

Although it represented itself as a neutral and unbiased company, it quickly became clear NewsGuard intended to push a pro-lockdown agenda.

The “reviewer” it assigned to evaluate us had few professional qualifications in either science or health policy.

Instead of consulting experts, NewsGuard built its attack on the GBD on the word of a politician, former United Kingdom Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

As the architect of Britain’s draconian lockdown policies, Hancock was hardly a neutral party.

Indeed, he left his position in disgrace after being caught violating his own lockdown rules.

Despite presenting itself as a fact-checker, NewsGuard also has a penchant for spreading misinformation of its own.

NewsGuard spent most of 2020 specifically targeting websites that shared or promoted the lab-leak hypothesis of COVID-19.

According to the same reviewer who attacked the GBD, websites that mentioned the lab leak were promoting “unfounded conspiracy theories about the virus’s origins” and deserved to be branded “misinformation.”

Almost three years after the pandemic’s start, an accidental lab leak is now widely believed to be the virus’ most likely origin.

NewsGuard had its facts wrong, yet toed the Biden administration line.

But, hey—that’s where the money was.

After revelations about the likelihood of a lab leak forced its hand, NewsGuard quietly retracted 21 ratings it had inappropriately applied to other websites.

That’s what happens when politicians enlist the help of (read: pay for) ideologically motivated but wholly unqualified journalists to determine what should and, more important in this case, should not be freely available for the public to read.

The result is an almost farcical situation in which accomplished scientists have their expertise pilloried by uncredentialed activist-journalists.

And now we know the US government is paying their salaries to do so.

Who knows what else we’ll find as the federal lawsuit enters discovery?

The filers are doing the First Amendment—and all Americans—a real service.