Former CBS46 anchor Ben Swann back to working for Russian-backed media organization

Ben Swann, a CBS46 evening anchor from 2015 to 2018, has been hired by a media group funded heavily by the Russian government to produce TV programming.

According to Axios, Swann has been given more than $5 million to produce programming about “the United States and NATO and U.S. continuing to spread war around the world,” “the economic warfare waged by the United States and its allies” and “transgender issues in the United States,” citing Foreign Agents Registration Act registration records filed with the Department of Justice.

The programming, Axios noted, is “aimed in large part at undercutting America’s image and interests in the developing world, records show.”

Swann is creating four programs for Russian media organ TV Novosti and two other entities, the Russian firm Kart LLC and an Armenian company called Stark Industries LLC.

Swann, while with CBS46, ran a segment called “Reality Check” where he would often promote conspiracy theories. He looked into the veracity of Pizzagate in 2017, where a D.C. pizza place was supposedly a front for a child sex trafficking ring, a story which was never proven to be true. Swann that night explored why it might be true.

Before he came to CBS46, Swann had worked for Russian government-funded “Russia Today. The Daily Beast at the time noted his “Truth in Media” website, which shared Swann’s investigative stories supposedly not covered by mainstream media, shared “a contact phone number with a prominent member of the Republican Liberty Caucus, a tax-exempt 527 political committee.” CBS46, which at the time was owned by Meredith, forced him to take down his “Truth in Media” site in 2017 and fired him a year later when they found out he was trying to resuscitate it. (CBS46 is now owned by Gray Television, which purchased Meredith’s TV operations last year.)

Earlier in his career, he had promoted conspiracy theories regarding the 9/11 attacks and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

He posts regularly on his Facebook page, recently criticizing the FBI as “the enforcement arm of the Democratic Party” and the U.S. Postal Service for tracking social media posts as well as the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. He also posts similar commentary on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.

Swann did not respond to an inquiry through his social media.

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