WASHINGTON, DC, May 4 – The Soviet Union had its KGB and now the U.S. has its DGB – the Disinformation Governance Board, a designation reminiscent of Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks. Who comes up with these cockamamie ideas? If President Biden thinks it can reassure American voters that he and his gang are worthy of a second term in office, he has another thing coming. Mr. Biden, John Cleese is a British comedian and his Ministry of Silly Walks was one of his many humorous inventions. Look at it this way, you and your Disinformation Governance Board are also making people laugh.
But don’t take my word for it. There are many people out there who seem to agree with me. Take, for example, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson. In the Opinion article he published under the headline, The Disinformation Governance Board is a bad name and a sillier idea, he wrote: “The problems begin with the worst name I’ve ever heard the federal government come up with, and that’s saying something. Disinformation Governance Board? To call the unit’s name Orwellian is an insult to George Orwell, who was a masterful prose stylist and who wrote a famous essay, ‘Politics and the English Language,’ railing against sins such as ‘staleness of imagery’ and ‘lack of precision’…I can see how disinformation requires monitoring. I can see how it requires fact-checking and refutation. But governance? How do you govern lies?”
The fact is that the DGB has the appearance of a thinly veiled, publicly funded way to silence political opponents. We could have used it when President Obama was telling America to buy into his Obamacare plan as the Wall Street Journal’s Editor at Large, Gerard Baker, reminded us in his DBG Opinion article. In it, he recalls one of Mr. Obama’s famous broken promises: “No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.”
His declaration is a classic case of political disinformation. According to Baker, “We don’t know how many people died because of that piece of misinformation—a whopper of such proportions that even PolitiFact, the self-appointed arbiter of truth and lies, awarded it its coveted “Lie of the Year” title in 2013—five years after rating it ‘true’—by which time it had become clear that what critics had been saying about ObamaCare was in fact neither scare tactics nor fear-mongering but the truth.
And then there is the issue of DGB’s Director, Nina Jankowicz. New York Post reporter Emily Crane put it succinctly in her report of Ms. Janowicz’s appointment. Crane wrote that Jankowicz’s “ability to be taken seriously in her role on Homeland Security’s new Orwellian ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ was thrown into question after a cringeworthy TikTok video resurfaced of her adapting the Mary Poppins tune ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ to be about fake news.” Check it out. Ms. Jankowicz boldly posted a video of herself spoofing the song that Julie Andrews made famous with her own homemade lyrics – “Information laundering is really quite ferocious. It’s when a huckster takes some lies and makes them sound precocious, by saying them in Congress or a mainstream outlet, so disinformation’s origins are slightly less atrocious.”
The Post article goes on to cite the reactions of a number of high profile personalities to the selection of Ms. Janowicz to head up the DGB. “RealClearPolitics co-founder Tom Bevan tweeted: ‘Wait, this is real? I thought it was a joke or a deep fake or something”…Rudy Giuliani also weighed in slamming her as the “whack-a-doodle Biden put in charge of the Ministry of Truth.”
And Karl Rove said, “What the heck is going on here? This is an important board. Its job is to help deal with misinformation being fed into America by foreign actors, both state and non-state actors. And they put in charge of it a political hack.”
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