Biden appoints "Disinformation Czar"

Biden appoints "Disinformation Czar"
Nina Jankowicz. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

As we learned under the administration of Barack Obama, you can never have too many “czars” running around the White House. (It’s a rather odd choice of words when we’re teetering on the brink of war with Russia, but here we are.) Now, thanks to President Joe Biden, we’re getting a brand new one. Inside the Department of Homeland Security, there will be a “Disinformation Governance Board” that will be led by our new “Disinformation Czar.” That person is Nina Jankowicz, a former “disinformation fellow” at the Wilson Center who previously served as an advisor to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. I’m not sure how many people had the chance to review this new office, but the unintentionally hilarious nature of the name they selected is pretty hard to ignore. (Postmillennial)

The Department of Homeland Security is setting up a new board designed to counter misinformation related to homeland security, with a focus specifically on Russia and irregular migration. The board will be called the “Disinformation Governance Board, and will be headed by executive director Nina Jankowicz.

Speaking with the House Appropriations DHS Subcommittee on Wednesday afternoon, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, “Our Undersecretary for Policy, Rob Silvers is co-chair with our Principal Deputy General Counsel, Jennifer Gaskell, in leading a just recently constituted misinformation disinformation governance board. So we’re bringing β€” the goal is to bring the resources of the department together to address this threat.”

Jankowicz was previously a disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center, and had advised the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry as part of the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship, according to Politico.

The glaring irony of the Biden administration setting up a governance board for “misinformation” is too juicy to pass up. Will Ms. Nankowicz be combatting alleged “misinformation” or propagating it? Where should we even begin? Perhaps with “inflation is only transitory.” Or “inflation is being caused by Putin.” And then there’s “inflation was caused by Trump.” Revisiting an old chestnut, she could look into “we’re getting everyone out of Afghanistan.”

It took only a few minutes for Jack Posobiec to flip through the pages of social media history and find examples of Nina Jankowicz spreading around some misinformation of her own.

Well, it’s good to know that the new czar has some personal experience in the misinformation field. At least they managed to find someone qualified for the position.

All humor aside, this is a rather alarming development for reasons we’ve discussed here in the past. While there’s little to be done about the use of the “misinformation” tag on social media unless you happen to have a spare $45 billion lying around, it’s now moving into the halls of the federal government. When one group gets to decide what qualifies as “misinformation” even when it’s only a differing opinion, they grant themselves the power to shut unpopular thoughts down. When Twitter does that, it’s censorship, but there’s not much to be done about it. When the federal government does it, that’s a violation of your First Amendment rights.

So what will this new czar be doing in response to so-called “disinformation” when she finds it? And perhaps more to the point, where will she be searching for it? If a Senator stands up on the floor of the upper chamber and declares that the unbridled flow of illegal immigrants across our southern border is a threat to national security and the rule of law, will Nina Jankowicz be able to have those words struck from the congressional record? If someone on Fox News opines something she doesn’t care for, will their broadcast license be revoked?

Once a president mandates the creation of a new office such as this, little can be done about it unless the next president opts to dissolve it. But we’re going to need to keep a very close eye on this new czar until we get a better idea of what her actual duties – and more importantly, her powers – entail.

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