Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudoscience category may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information, therefore fact checking and further investigation is recommended on a per article basis when obtaining information from these sources. See all Conspiracy-Pseudoscience sources.
- Overall, we rate Disobedient Media a strongly right biased conspiracy source, based on numerous examples of publishing information that is not conclusive or supported by evidence.
Factual Reporting: MIXED
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Founded in 2016, Disobedient Media is a news and opinion website with the tagline “Truth has no Bias.” The website was co-founded by Elizabeth Vos and William Craddick. Other than listing a few names associated with the website such as Adam Carter, whose real name is Tim Leonard, the about page lacks information, such as what they do and/or a mission statement. It also does not disclose ownership and funding.
Funded by / Ownership
Disobedient Media does not clearly state ownership, though one would expect it is co-owned by the founders. Revenue appears to come from a Patreon donation account, however, since there isn’t disclosure, we are uncertain of other revenue streams such as donations or sponsors.
Analysis / Bias
In review, Disobedient Media publishes news and opinions with a strong right-wing bias through story selection and wording. There is significant use of loaded emotional language in headlines such as this: Opinion: In A Sane World Brenda Snipes Would Be In Prison, Not Reinstated and this It’s Been A Spectacularly Bad Month For Hillary Clinton: Here’s Why. In general, story selection is very negative when reporting on Democrats. When it comes to sourcing, Disobedient Media tends to source properly to mostly mainstream sources such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, and the Daily Beast. However, they sometimes use conspiracy sources such as ZeroHedge and show support for Alex Jones, a very popular right-wing conspiracy theorist.
A common theme of the website is focusing on leaks from Wikileaks and Guccifer 2.0, as well as criticism of the DNC and frequently attempting to deny Russian interference in the 2016 election. For example, in this article, Leaked State Department Emails Reveal Connection To Donald Jr. Meeting, they state “Some have claimed that the emails sent to Donald Jr. were intentionally worded to create a basis for a FISA request to surveil and unmask the Trump team.” The “some” who claimed this is the conspiracy website, ZeroHedge. The gist of the article is that Democrats (deep state) set up Don Jr. so that the Democrats can surveil and attack the Trump campaign. While that could be possible, there is zero evidence to support that claim, which makes it a conspiracy theory.
Disobedient Media also publishes sensationalized headlines that do not match the story, such as this one: The Hollywood Complex At The Heart Of A Celebrity Child Sex Ring. This story is sourced to a Deadline article that describes how two sex offenders were found living in the 1,100 unit Oakwood Apartments, which is famous for having a lot of child actors living there. The Deadline article does not mention a sex ring and indicates that once the Apartment management discovered the two sex offenders, they were evicted. Further, the sex offenders did not commit a crime while living there. Disobedient Media then goes on to describe how “At least one resident of the Oakwood Apartment Complex was tied financially to the DEN child sex scandal which erupted in Hollywood in the aftermath of the dot-com bust. Actor Fred Savage is listed by multiple media outlets as having lived in the complex during his younger years. As reported yesterday by Disobedient Media, Savage was financially tied to DEN, though he was never accused of any sex offenses against minors.”
Again, there is no mention of a Sex ring anywhere in the Disobedient Media article, only in the headline. This is highly misleading clickbait.
Several media outlets have criticized Disobedient Media such as StopFake who state the Disobedient Media website “focuses on conspiracy theories, especially ones with a hint of pedophilia, together with posts attacking Hillary Clinton and her circle. In a Quartz article they state that the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research (DFR) has reported that William Craddick of Disobedient Media is a “distributor of fraudulent news stories.” The EU Observer has called Disobedient Media a “far-right US website.”
From MBFC Researcher D. Kelley: Disobedient Media (DM) is, like many sensational sites, with a mix of a few facts peppered with conjecture, tenuous connections, and opinion. The stories are rife with hyperbole and biased wording intended to lead the reader to a conclusion that is often at odds with the actual facts provided. A good example of confirmation bias as opposed to responsible journalism. The stories on DM often point to either their own stories or similar stories on other right-wing and conspiracy sites.
Example: DM is a staunch defender of Julian Assange, Wikileaks, and Guccifer 2.0. All of which have known and factually proven ties to Russia. In multiple articles, they claim that Guccifer is not a Russian operative, or is being framed as such, when multiple factual sources, such as Ars Technica, have verified that not only did the files they shared came from Russian sources, but that Guccifer is actually a persona run by GRU, the Russian Intelligence Service.
The fact that DM includes some facts in their stories does not allay the sensational and conspiratorial spin they put on them. For this reason, DM is given a Conspiracy rating.
Overall, we rate Disobedient Media a strongly right biased Conspiracy source, based on numerous examples of publishing information that is not conclusive or supported by evidence. (2/16/2017) Updated (D. Kelley and D. Van Zandt 1/11/2019)