MORGAN ZEGERS: The DHS used taxpayer dollars to fund 'counter-propaganda' initiative demonizing conservatives

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted an activist organization $700,000 in taxpayer funds to create what it calls “counter-propaganda,” — but this isn’t the first time an “anti-terrorism” grant program has been used to demonize conservatives.

The grant was awarded to the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Media Education Lab through the Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program, which funds organizations working to “prevent targeted violence and terrorism.” URI’s Media Education Lab said that it would create “counter-propaganda” to address “propaganda and misinformation concerning topics including immigration, racial justice, the coronavirus, and vaccination” and “build on top of concerns about so-called ‘fake news’ and ‘cancel culture.”

The DHS funds were used by the media lab to pay individuals $250 each to write blog posts regarding “misinformation, disinformation,” and “media literacy,” which reportedly teach people how to discern reputable news sources.

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley wrote a letter addressed to Secretary Mayorkas, stating that the DHS paid $700,000 to the organization to “write blog posts” criticizing “conservatives under the guise of ‘media literacy.'”

“Your Department has consistently weaponized the federal government to attack conservatives using taxpayer dollars,” Hawley added. “[F]irst by colluding with private social media companies to censor conservative viewpoints and now by funding private actors to create affirmative propaganda to ‘counter’ conservatives.”

In May of 2023, a shocking report detailed how the DHS’s TVTP awarded 80 grants (costing taxpayers $39,611,999) to various nonprofit organizations and universities, one of which worked to disparage conservative groups. TPUSA reported at the time that one grant recipient, the University of Dayton, received $352,109 to create the PREVENTS-OH program, which, among other initiatives, hosts regular seminars to “advance the liberal operative agenda and to train audience members to participate in illicit actions meant to ‘destabilize’ political movements.”

The university’s grant application, which was approved by DHS, contained a graphic comparing Turning Point USA and other mainstream conservative organizations to extremist groups like The Base, described by Fox News as a “neo-Nazi paramilitary group,” and the Daily Stormer, “a pro-Nazi publication.”


This piece first appeared at TPUSA.

Image: Title: mayorkas dhs


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