In what is already being described by some as President Biden’s very own Ministry of Truth, the revelation that there now exists a Misinformation and Disinformation Governance Board came as something of a shock during a meeting on the Hill yesterday. As of publishing time, the major left-leaning media players have yet to acknowledge the creation of this new DHS entity. What is this new board, is it as ominous as it sounds, and – perhaps most significantly – who runs it?
Speaking to Congress on Wednesday, April 27, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was asked what steps he was taking to curb the targeting of minorities with misinformation. He responded that his department had already set up a board that would be taking a leading role in this apparent fight. He said:
“We have just established a mis-and-disinformation governance board in the Department of Homeland Security to more effectively combat this threat, not only to election security, but to our homeland security.
“We are disseminating information to the secretaries of state. We are counseling them and providing resources to ensure better physical security. We are addressing all aspects of election security given, of course, the midterm elections that are upon us, and the fundamental integrity of our democratic processes that is at stake.”
Meet The Boss
Heading up this venture will be Nina Jankowicz, described as a Russian disinformation expert. Jankowicz is a fellow at the Wilson Center and an author who has quite the track record of not being able to recognize actual disinformation. On multiple occasions, she has shown herself willing to be swayed by partisan ideology when determining what constitutes a fact and what is “disinformation.”
In 2017, responding to a tweet by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) about the Christopher Steele dossier that formed the basis for the Russiagate scandal, Jankowicz wrote, “Your party funded the dossier first … and if there was FBI and DOJ bias during 2016, it was certainly against Clinton. FBI was investigating Trump since summer but didn’t make it public. American public deserved to know.” As is now accepted, the dossier was funded by Democrats.
Just one month prior to the 2020 presidential election, the Associated Press reported on the Hunter Biden laptop story. It outlined all the reasons why the story could be Russian disinformation and included a direct quote from Jankowicz, who said of the laptop that “We should view it as a Trump campaign product.” She also tweeted on other occasions in support of various articles intended to cast “yet more doubt” on the younger Biden’s laptop revelations.
When discussing Iranian email interference in the 2020 election, Jankowicz pooh-poohed the idea that it was a targeted campaign against Trump. She said, “These [campaigns] are designed to suppress voters, first of all, and they’re also designed to cause chaos and confusion and distrust in the system writ large.” She then criticized former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, saying he was “making it look like these campaigns are seeking to target President Trump, when in reality it’s about targeting our democracy.” The official 2021 report from Ratcliffe’s office, however, confirms that Iran did, indeed, make a sustained effort to damage the Trump candidacy. Yet again, Jankowicz was on the complete opposite side of the truth.
So why would the DHS want someone at the helm who has such a poor track record of recognizing genuine disinformation? One reason could be that these errors fall on the side of the political left. Another reason could be that the administration knows full well what her position is, and therefore what form her recommendations and actions will take.
Writing for a prominent Washington, DC publication in 2018 after Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, Jankowicz railed against Facebook and its ability to self-regulate, demanding that lawmakers take up the role:
“Self-regulation has failed, and Facebook can no longer be trusted with it. We would not fly on an airline that lied about an appalling safety record, nor would the government allow it to operate. The new Congress presents an opportunity to have meaningful conversations about social media’s impact on our democracy and perhaps even change its course, ‘hard problem’ be damned.”
This idea that government should step in and take the reins of power from companies is one that she echoed regarding Elon Musk’s recent Twitter purchase. Speaking to NPR, she said of the buyout:
“I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for the marginalized communities all around the world, which are already shouldering so much of this abuse, disproportionate amounts of this abuse, and retraumatizing themselves as they try to protect themselves from it, you know, reporting, blocking, et cetera. We need the platforms to do more, and we frankly need law enforcement and our legislatures to do more as well.”
That Mayorkas would announce the implementation of this strategy to support minorities – in particular, Spanish language speakers – who are targeted by misinformation during election periods at this precise time is perhaps in itself telling. It seems quite the coincidence that recent polling from Quinnipiac says Hispanic support for Joe Biden is at a devastating low of just 26%. And this is just the tip of the trending iceberg.
From 2016 to 2020, Hispanic support for Donald Trump swung 8% in his favor. And recent surveys suggest this trend away from Democrats is continuing apace. Does the administration believe that its lack of support from this demographic is the result of “disinformation”?
The administration wants to put controls on the internet and social media that have never before existed. To do so, it needs a cheerleader who will study the data, evaluate it, and finally come to the predetermined conclusion that it first set out to find. In Jankowicz, the White House has its hero … an expert in disinformation who will reliably fall for every actual disinformation ploy as long as it is in service to the political left.
Perhaps this is the role of the Disinformation Governance Board; to take the past and reshape it into a narrative that benefits the present. The Steele Dossier was full of facts, Hunter’s laptop is a Trump-created product, and Iranian interference doesn’t exist! Will these fallacies be “rectified” in the name of protecting those key minority voters from casting their votes the wrong way?
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