A website called The Connecticut Centinal, founded in 2021, has been posting about Greenwich recently. The publication’s masthead is in old-fashioned calligraphy with the words “since 1802” underneath.
The spelling is slightly different, but The Connecticut Centinel was a newspaper out of Norwich, Connecticut that began publishing starting in 1802, back when Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States (1801 to 1809).
At the time literacy in the US was increasing, but paper was dear, publication was weekly, and news was old by today’s standards. After the Revolution, newspaper coverage moved from war updates to activities of the legislature, and publishers often promoted their own political opinions.
A piece from CT State Library Town about the history of newspapers in the state explains, “news was contributed by citizens or perhaps by the printer himself. Aside from politics and law, articles could be about anything current in the community, from the mundane to the sensational, the latter including reports of whirlwinds, tornadoes, floods, murders, seductions and theft. Local people who wished to remain anonymous sometimes submitted articles or poems, signing them with pen-names, such as ‘Censor,’ ‘Plato,’ and ‘Friend of Liberty.'” – CT State Library
Perhaps nothing has changed.
Recent online posts in The Connecticut Centinal focusing on Greenwich include a contributed blog from Chris Fountain, an opinion piece from former State Rep Republican Harry Arora about public school infrastructure, and contributed posts from the Greenwich Patriots who have their own byline.
The website says the publisher is L. Todd Wood, CEO of Creative Destruction Media. On his website, LToddWood.com, his bio says, “As a Special Operations pilot, L Todd Wood flew missions for Seal Team 6 and Delta Force. He’s on a new mission now — to protect the American way of life and rescue it from the destructive grip of the socialist ideology that threatens its sovereignty and everything that makes this country great.”
Under Mr. Wood’s own byline on The Connecticut Centinal posts focus on parental rights and vaccinations. Last week, after Matthew Perry’s death, he wrote a piece titled, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Get Vaccinated: Covid Vaccine Possible Cause Of Death For Matthew Perry.”
In October the website Media Bias Fact Check published a review of The Connecticut Centinal.
Founded in 2015, Media Bias Fact Check is an independent online media outlet dedicated to educating the public on media bias and deceptive news practices.
Their website says their aim is to inspire action and a rejection of overtly biased media and return to an era of straight forward news reporting. Dave Van Zandt is the primary editor for sources and his organization follows a strict methodology for determining the biases of sources.
The review of The Connecticut Centinal says, “Overall, we rate the Connecticut Centinal as an extreme right-biased imposter website and Questionable based on the promotion of propaganda, conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, poor sourcing, and false claims.”
Media Bias Fact Check’s credibility rating for The Connecticut Centinal is “Low.” Its factual reporting rating is “Low,” and its Bias rating is “Extreme Right.”
The Media Bias Fact Check review describes The Connecticut Centinal as “a conservative news and opinion website with a history of publishing misinformation.”
It notes that Creative Destruction Media, owned by L Todd Wood, publishes The Connecticut Centinal and several other websites “using the names of old defunct newspapers.”
The business model uses advertising and ad-free subscriptions to generate revenue.
On Monday a banner ad across the top advertised the Rise + Resist 2023 Children’s Health Defense Conference in Savannah GA with special guest Robert F Kennedy Jr.
On Thursday, an ad for a medical emergency kit featured the headline, “Protect Yourself before the Next Plandemic Arrives.”
An ad for precinct strategy “Become a Committeeman!” links to a “404 oops this page is missing” notice, but nevertheless has an active Donate button that links to various suggested dollar amounts and to a Dan Schultz podcasts on Rumble.
GFP reached out to Mr. Wood on Monday to ask for his response to the Media Bias Fact Check review. He suggested a video interview, audio interview or print interview. From there GFP provided two explicit questions in writing – one asking the response to the Media Bias Fact Check review and a second question about why he named the website after a long defunct newspaper. GFP offered to print any brief response in its entirety.
Here it is L. Todd Wood’s response:
CDM is very focused on history in bringing back investigative journalism to Connecticut and beyond. We have not tried to hide the fact that we re-established long-defunct revolutionary period newspapers across the nation. We have done this with The Colorado Free Press, The Georgia Record, The Easton Gazette, and The Connecticut Centinal. There will be more.
Regarding ‘disinformation’, we find that term subjective as who gets to decide? We have yet to be challenged on anything we have reported as being false by anyone in CT. If we do report something that is not true, we issue a correction, or take the article down.
Who gets to decide what is a ‘legitimate local newspaper, or a ‘conservative imposter website?’ We think the free market should make that determination, not ideologues on either side.