UPDATE: On Monday morning CBS46 fired journalist and anchor Ben Swann. In an official statement, CBS46 General Manager Lyle Banks stated, “Ben Swann is no longer an employee of WGCL-TV, effective immediately.”
On Friday, award-winning journalist Ben Swann was suspended as the evening anchor for CBS46 in Atlanta. Only hours before the suspension Swann had released a new video – his first independent video since January 2017 – announcing his impending return to the independent/alternative news arena. Rodney Ho of AJC.com was the first to report on the news.
“CBS46 evening anchor Ben Swann has been taken off the air after his efforts to revive his independent investigative operation he called Reality Check came to light today,” Ho wrote. “On Thursday night, Swann posted a video on Vimeo teasing about an upcoming new project he planned to announce next Tuesday. He only identified himself as an “investigative journalist” and did not reference his ties to CBS46.”
Exciting news #Dash fans! #BenSwann has just released this video to make a special annoucement! Get ready for Tuesday Jan 30th! ?️??#Dash $Dash #Crypto #Cryptocurrency #FinTech #GuessWhosBack pic.twitter.com/12csI0mkhd
— Mark Mason (@StayDashy) January 25, 2018
Ho goes on to state that once CBS46 learned of Swann’s extracurricular activity he was suspended and his video was removed from Vimeo. A copy of the video is still available on Twitter and has been seen more than 16,000 times as of Monday morning. Activist Post confirmed the suspension with CBS46 Atlanta. When pressed for more information regarding the cause of the suspension, CBS46 News Director Steve Doerr told Activist Post via email, “We don’t have a comment at this time.” Doerr only became news director in July 2017 and was not the News Director at the time of Swann’s initial blackout in February 2017. Sources close to the situation tell Activist Post that Doerr was aware of Swann’s attempts to bring back his popular Reality Check segment.
Swann “went dark” on February 1, 2017 as his social media accounts on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere were suddenly deactivated. Swann is a well-known local journalist at CBS46 in Atlanta, as well as a viral Internet sensation for his Reality Check investigative reports. Swann’s Reality Check reports began to garner attention around the 2012 U.S. election and have continued to gain millions of views while questioning the mainstream narrative.
Prior to his disappearance, Swann had been under attack by much of the corporate media for his now notorious Reality Check segment on the controversial Pizzagate theory. During the segment, Swann draws attention to what he sees as curious aspects of the theory which warrant further attention. Swann was immediately attacked by The Daily Beast (going so far as to place a tin-foil hat on the journalist), the Inquisitr, and many other publications. CBS46 initially defended Ben Swann’s reporting, but later appeared to take the blame for allowing the report to air.
In mid-December 2017, Ben Swann began posting in the forums of the cryptocurrency, DASH. While an increasing amount of public attention is given to the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin, many people in the privacy focused crypto community are placing their support behind DASH. Originally released under the name “Darkcoin” back in 2014, the crypto would later be rebranded as DASH, or digital cash.
The biggest feature that sets DASH apart from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is the use of self-governing, self-funding protocol. This allows users to submit proposals to the treasury which help grow the DASH community and potentially receive funding. Users submit proposals via forums in the DASH community. It is in these forums where Ben Swann successfully sought funding for reviving Reality Check and his Truth In Media website. After the proposal was approved by the DASH community Ben Swann’s team began working on fulfilling their end of the arrangement, promising new episodes of Reality Check every Tuesday and Thursday throughout February, March and April. Swann also confirmed that he will begin appearing publicly starting with the Anarchapulco conference in Acapulco, Mexico in late February.
However, Swann’s suspension could spell trouble for his arrangement with the DASH community. The intrepid journalist obviously has enough support to completely sever ties with the mainstream and go independent, but he is likely contractually obligated to CBS46 Atlanta. Activist Post will continue to follow the situation and provide updates as they come.
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