Wednesday September 7, 2022
President Biden’s campaign to banish (or maybe outlaw) political paranoia took a wallop last spring. In April, the Department of Homeland Security proudly announced that it had created a new Disinformation Governance Board. The following month, the board’s chairman resigned, and Biden administration officials claimed the board was being “paused.” But it remains in the wings awaiting the White House summons for an encore performance.Thought police by another name
From the start, the Disinformation Governance Board looked like a political caricature dreamed up by people who never appreciated either Monty Python or Orwell’s 1984. Given the Biden record, it was unclear whether the new board will be fighting or promulgating “disinformation.” After controversy erupted, an unnamed DHS spokesperson told the Washington Post: “The Board’s purpose has been grossly mischaracterized; it will not police speech…. Its focus is to ensure that freedom of speech is protected.” Geez, why didn’t the Founding Fathers think of adding a clause to the First Amendment creating a nefarious-sounding government agency to ride shotgun on the nation’s media?
Team Biden expected applause and deference when they announced the first disinformation czar for the board, Nina Jankowicz, a 33-year-old Bryn Mawr college graduate who was hailed as an “information warfare expert.” Jankowicz had the type of resume that made the Washington Post swoon — a Fulbright scholar, a graduate degree from Georgetown University, and “stints at multiple nonpartisan think tanks” — all of which were coincidentally progovernment — thus proving that Jankowicz herself was trustworthy.