Ben Swann

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Ben Swann
Ben Swann speaking at the 2013 Liberty Political Action Conference (LPAC) in Chantilly, Virginia.
Photo by: Gage Skidmore
Born Benjamin Swann
(1978-07-17) July 17, 1978 (age 38)
El Paso, Texas, U.S.
Residence Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Alma mater Brigham Young University
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Occupation Journalist
Notable credit(s) Truth In Media (2013–2017)
WXIX-TV Reality Check (2010–2013)
WGCL-TV Reality Check (2015–2017)
Television KFOX-TV (1999–2007)
KTSM-TV (2008–2010)
WXIX-TV (2010–2013)
Newsmax TV (2014)
RT America (2014–2015)
WGCL-TV (2015–present)

Benjamin "Ben" Swann (born July 17, 1978) is an American television news anchor and investigative journalist. He has worked in New Mexico, Texas, Ohio, Washington, D.C., and Georgia.[1] While at Fox affiliate WXIX-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio, he began producing a fact-checking series entitled "Reality Check", which has garnered occasional media attention for questioning widely accepted narratives on high-profile controversies such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, and an alleged link between vaccines and autism. After leaving WXIX-TV in 2013, Swann regularly appeared on RT America, part of the Russian state-owned TV network RT,[2][3][4][5][6][7] while independently continuing to produce his show "Reality Check". In June 2015, Swann left RT America to join CBS affiliate WGCL-TV in Atlanta, Georgia as chief evening news anchor.[8][9]

Education[edit]

Swann was homeschooled and earned a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from Brigham Young University in 1993, at the age of 15, and a master's degree in History from California State University, Dominguez Hills[10] in 1994, at the age of 16.[11][12][13]

Career[edit]

Early in his career, Swann was bureau chief in Las Cruces, New Mexico.[11] Swann worked for 11 years in the television market in El Paso, Texas. He first worked at Fox affiliate KFOX-TV as an anchor, reporter, managing editor and photographer.[11][14] In 2008 Swann moved to NBC affiliate KTSM-TV, where he anchored the evening news for almost three years and became one of the top names in the market.[14][15]

During this period, Swann also wrote for CBN News, focusing on Mexico's drug wars on the Texas border.[14][16]

He left El Paso in December 2010 to become a TV news presenter at Cincinnati, Ohio's WXIX-TV Fox 19 Evening News at Six and Fox 19 Ten O'Clock News with Tricia Macke, where he began producing his "Reality Check" fact-checking and media analysis show.[17] During the two and one-half years Swann was part of the news team at WXIX-TV Fox 19, it consistently placed second in ratings in the Cincinnati market.[18]

On October 23, 2012, Swann served as a panel member on a third-party presidential candidates debate hosted by Larry King in Chicago, Illinois, and broadcast on C-SPAN, Al Jazeera America, and online through the sponsorship of the Free & Equal Elections Foundation.[19][20]

On April 9, 2013, Swann announced he would be leaving WXIX-TV Fox 19 on May 31, 2013, and on May 30, 2013, he announced that he would launch a crowdfunded media watchdog Truth In Media to continue production of his show "Reality Check" independently through a Chicago, Illinois-based production team. Truth in Media's team includes Rare contributor Kurt Wallace, podcast host Jason Stapleton, blogger Julie Borowski, and CPS whistleblower Carlos Morales.[18][21][22][23] From May 2013 until June 2015, Swann appeared regularly on RT America in Washington, D.C.[9]

Since June 2015, Swann has been an evening and late-night anchor for WGCL-TV CBS46 in Atlanta, Georgia. organization.[24]

"Reality Check"[edit]

In addition to news anchoring, Swann is an investigative reporter and media critic and has made a reputation for "Reality Check" by covering controversial and under-reported stories. The Daily Beast has reported that many of Swann's segments echo talking points from media outlets such as RT and InfoWars that are rarely seen in more mainstream news media.[9] Swann's "Reality Check" segments were uploaded to his YouTube channel and have garnered 10,376,570 views and over 73,500 subscribers.[25] One theme of Swann's "Reality Check" has been covering the lack of media attention given to Ron Paul's presidential campaigns and the Ron Paul newsletter controversy that had already drawn national attention.[26][27][28]

Views and reports[edit]

Mass shootings[edit]

While working for a Cincinnati-area Fox affiliate WXIX-TV in 2012, Swann suggested on his personal YouTube channel that Adam Lanza was accompanied by another shooter.[29][30] He has said that he had “major problems with the theory” that 2012 Aurora shooting and Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings were conducted by lone gunmen.[9] There is no evidence that any additional shooters were present at the shootings. Some such reports may have been influenced by confused early news reports of the events.[31][32][33]

Pizzagate conspiracy theory[edit]

While working for CBS affiliate WGCL-TV, Ben Swann dedicated a "Reality Check" segment to the Pizzagate conspiracy theory that emerged during the 2016 United States presidential election cycle and called for a police investigation of the Pizzagate allegations.[9][34][35][36][37][38] After reporting on the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, Swann closed his social media accounts.[39]

Syria conflict and ISIL[edit]

In December 2016, Swann aired a segment titled "If (Syrian President Bashar al) Assad is Committing Genocide in Aleppo, Why Are People Celebrating in the Streets?"[9] Swann has sought crowdfunding for an episode titled, “U.S and partners intentionally created ISIS”.[9]

September 11 attacks[edit]

Swann has questioned whether 7 World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001 the way authorities said it did.[29]

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17[edit]

In an appearance in 2015 RT America, Swann said that “any credible evidence does not seem to exist” that Russia shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.[9]

Russia–United States relations[edit]

Swann has hosted on his personal website posts with headlines such as "Putin: Russian military not threatening anybody, we are protecting our borders" and "Putin demonized for thwarting neocon plan for global domination."[40][41] One such post stated, "For it is a rule which invariably holds true – if the Western elites praise the leader of a foreign country it means he is doing something which is good for those elites and bad for his country. If he’s demonized, as Putin is, it’s the other way round."[40]

Alleged Russian hacking of the DNC and John Podesta's e-mails[edit]

Swann hosted a segment on WGCL-TV titled “5 Problems with CIA Claim That Russia Hacked DNC/Podesta Emails.”[9]

Alleged link between vaccines and autism[edit]

Swann has expressed skepticism of media reports and public health officials' consensus that vaccines do not cause autism.[42][43][44]} He has said that "despite the official ruling that there is no link between vaccines and autism, there have been at least 83 cases of autism among those compensated for vaccine-induced brain damage."[45] Swann has also said that "the CDC did ... intentionally omit data that demonstrated a connection between an increased risk of autism in African American males who were given the MMR vaccine before 36 months of age."[45] In one of his segments, Swann reported, "as one parent told me, while public statements have been made that there is no research supporting the assertion that vaccines can cause autism, families point to dozens of studies that do find a link between vaccines and autism that public health officials do not share with the public."[46]

Awards[edit]

Swann has won multiple awards for his journalism while working as a TV anchor and reporter for local television affiliates. Swann won an RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award in 2004 and a Lone Star Emmy Award in 2005, as well as a journalism award in New Mexico.[12][14][47][48]

2002[edit]

  • RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards, National Award & Regional Award: Continuing Coverage for "Alexandra Flores"[citation needed]
  • New Mexico Associated Press, Breaking News for "Windstorm!"[citation needed]
  • Southern New Mexico Press Club, News Reporting[citation needed]
  • Southern New Mexico Press Club, Sports Reporting[citation needed]

2003[edit]

  • RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards, Regional Award: Breaking News for "Flash Floods: Tragedy and Heroism"[citation needed]
  • Texas Associated Press Broadcasters, Station/Breaking News for "Flash Floods: Tragedy and Heroism"[citation needed]
  • Texas Associated Press Broadcasters, Continuing Coverage for "Brianna Lopez"[citation needed]

2004[edit]

  • RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards, Regional Award: Continuing Coverage for "507th Maintenance Company"[citation needed]

2005[edit]

  • Lone Star Emmy Awards, Breaking News for "RV Fire"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ben Swann: KFOX Morning News Anchor/Reporter". KFOX. January 24, 2006. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  2. ^ Julia Ioffe,What Is Russia Today?, Columbia Journalism Review, September–October 2010.
  3. ^ Beth Knobel "Russian News, English Accent: New Kremlin Show Spins Russia Westward", CBS News, December 12, 2005
  4. ^ "Russia reportedly paid $45,000 for Michael Flynn's 2015 talk". CNBC. 
  5. ^ "The Note: White House holds strong on wiretapping allegation despite pushback". ABC News. 
  6. ^ "Michael Flynn received more than $33,000 from Russian TV". USA Today. 
  7. ^ "Is social media empowering Dutch populism?". Financial Times. 
  8. ^ Rodney Ho. "CBS46 Management Explains Radical Changes Including Five New Anchors June 15." http://radiotvtalk.blog.ajc.com/2015/06/15/cbs46-management-explains-radical-changes-including-five-new-anchors-june-15/
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Collins, Ben (2017-01-19). "Meet Ben Swann, the Republican Pizzagate Truther Hosting Atlanta’s CBS Nightly News". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  10. ^ "Ben Swann". LinkedIn. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Meet Ben Swann, New Fox19 Anchor". Cincinnati.com. December 13, 2010. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Ben Swann". Fox19. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Upcoming Events: Ben Swann". Liberty on the Rocks, Houston. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014. A 1993 undergraduate of Brigham Young University, Swann went on to receive his Master's in Humanities from California State University in 1994 at age 16. 
  14. ^ a b c d Seay, Roger. "FOX19 names Ben Swann as new co-anchor". FOX 19 News. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  15. ^ NPT Staff (February 8, 2008). "Media Watch: Swann Flies to a New Station". Newspaper Tree. El Paso, TX: EPmediagroup.com. Retrieved January 31, 2015. 
  16. ^ Swann, Ben (July 30, 2010). "Pastors Take Godly Approach on Border Violence". CBN News: World. The Christian Broadcasting Network. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  17. ^ Gauthier, Andrew (December 13, 2010). "In Cincinnati, Multi-Talented Anchor Prepares for WXIX Debut". TVSpy. WebMediaBrands. Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b Kiesewetter, John (May 24, 2013). "A shakeup in exits by Swann, Janson?: Anchors' departures may reshape viewing habits". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 
  19. ^ Harper, Jennifer (19 October 2012). "Inside the Beltway: Third Party Goes Forth". The Washington Times. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  20. ^ Groer, Annie (24 October 2012). "Third-party candidates finally get their own presidential debate". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 February 2017. 
  21. ^ "Ben Swann Leaving Fox 19 Announcement". April 9, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  22. ^ Santilli, Pete (2013-04-12). "Episode #393: Ben Swann Poised To Dominate Alternative Media". The Pete Santilli Show. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  23. ^ "Ben Swann on his new venture, leaving Fox 19 and his favorite stories". Cincinnati.com. May 30, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-30. [dead link]
  24. ^ http://www.cbs46.com/story/29304911/ben-swann
  25. ^ "Ben Swann". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  26. ^ Blankenship, Mat (2013). Meet Ron Paul: a Biography. Xlibris. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-4797-9894-0. 
  27. ^ Wemple, Erik (January 19, 2012). "Cincinnati anchor does deep on Paul campaign". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 'Reality Check' ’s probing of national political issues is working for Fox 19.... [The stories] consistently fill out four of the top five traffic-generators for the Fox 19 site. 
  28. ^ Gauthier, Andrew (January 20, 2012). "Cincinnati Anchor Gains National Following with Ron Paul 'Reality Check's". TVSpy. WebMediaBrands. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b Haberman, Maggie (January 13, 2016). "‘Super PAC’ Backing Jeb Bush Uses Conspiracy-Minded Journalist in Ad". The New York Times. 
  30. ^ Weigel, David (January 14, 2016). "How a libertarian TV host became the focus of a Bush-Rubio fight". The Washington Post. 
  31. ^ "Sandy Hook Exposed". Snopes.com. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  32. ^ Stuart, Hunter (11 February 2013). "Sandy Hook Hoax Theories Explained: Why Newtown 'Truther' Arguments Don't Hold Up". Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  33. ^ Sieczkowski, Cavan (16 January 2013). "Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theory Video Debunked By Experts". Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  34. ^ Menegus, Bryan. "CBS Imbecile Just Fanned the Pizzagate Flames for No Reason". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  35. ^ "Reality Check with Ben Swann". Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  36. ^ Wemple, Erik; Wemple, Erik (2017-01-18). "CBS affiliate’s ‘big question': Why no law enforcement investigation of ‘Pizzagate’ allegations?". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  37. ^ "‘Why Hasn’t Any Investigation Taken Place?’ CBS Host Defends Pizzagate Conspiracy". www.mediaite.com. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  38. ^ Editor, Ed Mazza Overnight; Post, The Huffington (2017-01-19). "CBS Affiliate Reignites Debunked Pizzagate Conspiracy Theory". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  39. ^ Ho, Rodney (February 1, 2017). "Ben Swann’s Truth in Media site down, Twitter, Instagram, FB accounts gone". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  40. ^ a b "Putin demonized for thwarting neocon plan for global domination". Ben Swann. 2014-11-08. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  41. ^ "Putin: Russian military not threatening anybody, we are protecting our borders". Ben Swann. 2016-11-12. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  42. ^ Bonhoeffer J, Heininger U (2007). "Adverse events following immunization: perception and evidence" (PDF). Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases. 20 (3): 237–46. PMID 17471032. doi:10.1097/QCO.0b013e32811ebfb0. 
  43. ^ Boseley, Sarah (February 2, 2010). "Lancet retracts 'utterly false' MMR paper". The Guardian. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  44. ^ Taylor, Luke E.; Swerdfeger, Amy L.; Eslick, Guy D. (June 2014). "Vaccines are not associated with autism: An evidence-based meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies". Vaccine. 32 (29): 3623–9. PMID 24814559. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.04.085. 
  45. ^ a b Swann, Ben (2014-09-02). "CDC Whistleblower Admits Suppressing Information Regarding Vaccines and Autism". Ben Swann's Truth In Media. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  46. ^ Swann, Ben (2013-12-03). "Truth in Media: Vaccine Court and Autism". Ben Swann's Truth In Media. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  47. ^ "Outstanding New Segment: Breaking News/Single Story". 2005 Lone Star Emmy Awardees. Lone Star Chapter of the NATAS. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  48. ^ "News Special". 2009 Lone Star Emmy Nominations. Lone Star Chapter of the NATAS. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 

External links[edit]