Politics

Chicago student blasts ‘disinformation’ conference as an ‘indoctrination session,’ says it pushed ‘propaganda’

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University of Chicago student Christopher Phillips took aim that the so-called “disinformation” conference his school held last week that sparked national attention. 

The “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” conference, co-hosted by The Atlantic magazine and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, had high-profile journalists and politicians including former President Obama to discuss how to combat what they deem is purposefully false information that is shared. But Phillips said they were “all on board” with the same mission.  

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“It was a huge indoctrination session,” Phillips told Fox News Digital in an interview. “It was essentially a conference initiated to spread propaganda. And it was all from one perspective, there was no perspective from the other side, which is that we need to actually preserve freedom of the press.”

University of Chicago student Christopher Phillips (Fox News Digital).

University of Chicago student Christopher Phillips (Fox News Digital).
(Fox News Digital)

Phillips, a college freshman and the writer of the student-run newspaper The Chicago Thinker who went viral for grilling CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter, knocked another speaker who argued that legacy media journalists need to be the “gatekeepers” of journalism, something he called “scary” since it would eliminate “alternative perspectives on things.” 

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“So this conference, I believe the true purpose of it was to spread an agenda, to spread political beliefs that the media have been trying to, to inject in the public arena for a long time, which is that we’re not going to pretend to tolerate other viewpoints anymore,” Phillips said. “We’re gonna weaponize Big Tech and weaponize various other mediums or media to take away the other perspectives from journalism and make sure that we are the only people who could speak out about certain issues.”

Phillips told Fox News Digital that the “number one criterion” of The Chicago Thinker isn’t about political-leaning or writing abilities but rather “bravery.”

“You have to be brave to speak your mind and not to conform to the mob,” Phillips said. Our motto is ‘Outthink the mob’ because at the end of the day, at an institution like this… it’s still definitely a predominantly left-leaning institution. And so we get a lot of criticism for our views and for saying what we say, so you have to be brave to join The Chicago Thinker.” 

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He continued, “Our mission is essentially to promote news and combat campus craziness and to do so from a conservative perspective, which are values that are not really shared often on campus. So we want to bring a lot of the stuff that’s going on on campus, which, at the end of the day, a lot of the stuff that happens here, it goes out into the corporate world and is ingrained into society. So this is sort of the birthplace of the woke theology. We want to shine a light on that for the outside world.”

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