As Jazz pointed out yesterday, the Biden administration just appointed Nina Jankowicz as executive director of the Disinformation Governance Board at DHS aka the disinformation czar. Jankowicz quickly came under fire for, among others things, pushing claims that the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation. But there are also a lot of old videos turning up including several in which Jankowicz is singing. Here’s one that made it on Tucker Carlson’s show last night.
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) February 17, 2021
The Mary Poppins of disinformation? Is that something we need? But there are other videos online in which Jankowicz sounds a lot more serious about the issue. Here’s some testimony she gave (remotely) to the House Armed Services Committee in 2021:
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) May 2, 2021
If you want to see the rest, click here for part 2 and part 3. In addition to her interest in disinformation, Jankowicz has also written a book about the abuse of women on social media. She did a slightly cringey Tik Tok video on that topic as well.
I have both personally experienced and studied this behavior. It has affected how I engage, what topics I choose to work on, and in conversations with young women I mentor, I’m frequently asked how to deal with it. It affects how they engage, too. pic.twitter.com/M6HNERYlY6
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) April 9, 2021
BTW, Jankowicz has been through this sort of thing before and she said she doesn’t care. She loves musical theater and so she’s going to sing and do characters whether people like it or not.
I love that these jerks have "uncovered" "bombshells" about me, like the fact that I played in a rather geeky band and love performing in musicals, both of which I… am proud of? And openly talk about? pic.twitter.com/osQHkRrvuw
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) January 29, 2021
Even when she’s being serious, it feels a bit like there’s a musical theater performance just below the surface trying to break out. I’m not even sure she’s doing it on purpose it just seems to be who she is.
Vice President Harris and other women in politics aren’t targeted with sexualized and gendered abuse because of their “dumb policies.”
This abuse is meant to silence women and keep them out of public life.
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) January 27, 2021
Lots of musical theater pics:
(if you are wondering about my community theater star turns, wonder no longer….
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) September 7, 2020
Even in stills she posts you can hear the music trying to break through. The hills are alive…
Happy Independence Day, Ukraine 💙💛 (Miss you 😭) pic.twitter.com/PheH5AHPcO
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) August 24, 2020
Everyone needs a hobby.
I missed the Sondheim special last night but am looking forward to watching soon.
In the meantime, here’s me as the Witch in a community theater production of Into the Woods last fall.
Happy birthday, Mr Sondheim- thank you for the music 🎶 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/hjuDVtBpxy
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) April 27, 2020
In my spare time (lol what's that) I enjoy performing in community theater musicals. Recent favorite roles include Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors and The Witch in Into the Woods.
(Fun fact: My love of musicals actually led me to a reporting scoop for my book!) pic.twitter.com/uuvFThlmh3
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) March 6, 2020
Going back a little further, a friend of mine noticed that Jankowicz was part of a group called StopFake which was designed to point out Russian disinformation about Ukraine.
The nongovernmental organization Media Reforms Center is an educational platform, founded by Mohyla School of Journalism at National University of ‘KyivMohyla Academy’, which aims to implement high standards of journalism education in Ukraine, raise the level of media literacy, inform about the danger of propaganda and dissemination of fake information in the media. Since it was launched, MRC has been working on implementing western standards of journalism in Ukraine and raising the level of media literacy for different audiences, from students to journalists to members of public who want to consume media content in a critical and responsible way…
The flagship project of our organization “StopFake” is currently well known to media professionals all over the world. Not only does it identify cases of fake information about events in Ukraine, but also actually initiated an international discussion on how to resist this shameful phenomenon.
StopFake videos appear to have been published by the group once a week since 2014 and Jankowicz seems to have hosted three of them in 2016 and 2017. Here’s one example:
This clip from 2015 is making the rounds on Twitter. She’s singing of couse.
And if you go way, way back there are more clips of Jankowicz singing in a band setting in various places. One thing you can say is that she’s been pretty consistent.
I’m not sure what all of this adds up to. She’s obviously a lefty which is how she got this disinformation czar job in the Biden administration. She does seem to know her business when it comes to Russian disinformation especially. The musical theater gloss on this will no doubt be charming and relatable to some people but I think it will also wear thin pretty quickly with a lot of others. I don’t hate musical theater but I don’t really want the disinformation czar breaking into song to lecture us or even looking like she’d like to do so. But as I said, your mileage may vary.