Grand opening. Grand closing.
Three weeks after the Department of Homeland Security proudly proclaimed that government fact-checkers were coming to save us all —led by “disinformation specialist” and showtune loon Nina Jankowicz — the Disinformation Governance Board is done. Ms. Jankowicz has resigned.
The White House says the DGB is “on pause” —but this idea is so bad, it might just stay dead.
Where to begin. What a trainwreck —a terrible idea with a launch so botched, and messaging so convoluted, it could only come from this administration (see COVID, Afghanistan, et al.)
“The reaction has been extreme,” a senior DHS official told reporters in a briefing Wednesday. “There have been gross mischaracterizations of what the board’s work would be.”
Mischaracterizations? No, sir —THAT’S disinformation. Conservatives and a large swath of the American people were crystal clear on what this board’s work would be. You can try to maintain that the board was shuttered because of unfair criticism from the right; you can try to maintain that Ms. Jankowicz was eminently qualified. But those are lies.
As Jim Geraghty over at the National Review points out, “no conservative critic had to fake the video of Jankowicz appearing deranged while singing a parody version of a Mary Poppins song.”
The New York Post reminds us that, “Jankowicz was singularly ill-suited to the job: She pushed the Russiagate lies (taken in by the most successful disinformation effort of our lives) and joined in the suppression of The Post’s Hunter Biden reporting. And she’s supposed to be an expert?”
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas copped to not doing his research during a recent committee hearing —he’d never seen the Mary Poppins videos. That’s right —Mayorkas did less research than a kid performing a simple search on TikTok.
“Why on earth would you nominate someone who is a human geyser of misinformation?” Missouri Senator Josh Hawley asked Mayorkas.
These are the people who want to tell you what’s true.
All these points before we even get to the fact that the board was incredibly redundant. As John Schindler at the Washington Examiner observed, “The U.S. government already has an office dedicated to combating [foreign] disinformation, the Global Engagement Center at the Department of State.”
So the only reason to create a second board, Geraghty says, is “to focus on disinformation from domestic sources, which inevitably gets into thorny questions of government censorship and the First Amendment.”
Freshly minted White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre doubled down on the “mischaracterization” lie during Wednesday’s press briefing.
“It’s just going — it’s — it’s going to pause,” Jean-Pierre said. “There’s been mischaracterizations from outside — outside forces. And so now what we’re going to do is going to — we’re going to pause it and we’re going to do an assessment. But the work does — the work doesn’t stop. We’re still going to continue the work.”
The Biden Administration pulled the plug on this thing because it was a terrible idea and the truth-czar had glaring conflicts of interest and a terrible relationship with the truth.
And that’s kind of the number one job requirement.