This was posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
CBS46 evening anchor Ben Swann today blocked his "Truth in Media" website and dropped his primary Twitter and Instagram feeds, as well as his Facebook "Truth in Media" page, which had 427,000 plus followers.
But he hasn't entirely disappeared off social media. He managed to keep a different Facebook page alive, one that only has 1,800 followers. The last time he posted on this site was January 17, the morning before he aired his "Reality Check" about Pizzagate which went viral and led to a week-long suspension. He came back on air on CBS46 this past Monday.
Swann was hired by CBS46 in June, 2015 as an evening anchor. He had been running his Truth in Media project since 2012 and his station bosses allowed him to maintain the site, which for a time included most of his "Reality Check" pieces he aired on CBS46.
Here was his Twitter site yesterday:
Here it is today:
He has fashioned himself as a bit of a renegade, someone willing to take different angles on new stories that most mainstream reporters wouldn't touch.
Swann has built a fervent following in the alt-right world. In fact, his Facebook page under the name "BenSwannRealityCheck" is the one with more than 427,000 followers.
Critics have fashioned his approach as that of a conspiracy buff with The Daily Beast popping a tin-foil hat on his head. (That reporter also discovered ties between his Truth in Media site and an Republican PAC.)
Swann's January 17 Pizzagate story, which was a resurrection of a rumor that a Hillary Clinton aide had run a child pornography ring out of a D.C. pizza parlor, questioned why nobody has done a full investigation while not appearing to do any independent reporting of his own. Plus, the story had no Atlanta angle and was clearly geared to his Truth in Media audience more than the CBS46 audience.
The story was seen nearly 1 million times on his Facebook page before the page went dark.
His fans cheered him on since he happens to be part of the mainstream press and gave that story sustenance by even taking five minutes of airtime to talk about it. And now they are wondering if there is (gasp!) a conspiracy behind all his pages disappearing.
The Truth in Media site, before it was locked from public view, posted a vast majority of the "Reality Check" segments he did for CBS46.
It was here:
Now it's not:
It's clear his bosses forced Swann to take down his social media accounts. But it's unclear what the future of his Truth in Media project will be.
He actually warned his readers several days in advance that he was "going dark." It's possible this gave folks a chance to save a lot of his work themselves before he took the sites down.