Moms ran birthday parties in my youth with a loving and earnest desperation to create the happiest day for their child.
To keep the boys from going outside and spraying each other with the hose, the Mom planned activities. One homemade game that kept everyone seated boy-girl-boy-girl for the cake was called ‘Telephone.’
The birthday child whispered a phrase in the ear of the kid next to him. They passed it on and on and on. When it came back around the table, the Mom announced the result. Inevitably the phrase was radically different, often hilariously so.
I may have intimate knowledge of how that phrase always got changed.
But that’s not the point. The point is we’ve all known about disinformation for a very long time. It’s an uptown word for “lie.”
Democrats are the political party that propagated the Russian collusion hoax and before that, promised if you liked your doctor, you could keep your doctor. But now they’re all up in arms over disinformation — Republican disinformation, of course.
Joe Biden — or rather, the mysterious “they” that he claims are always telling him what to do – have concocted a formal method to combat ‘disinformation.’ Biden’s Homeland Security Secy, Alejandro Mayorkas, hands-down winner of the Jeff Bezos look-alike contest, told Congress he would call it the Disinformation Governance Board.
He said it would fight disinformation or misinformation – they’ve become essentially synonymous – especially concerning COVID, elections, and efforts by those evil Russians to screw up our elections more than they already are.
Also, misinformation about “irregular migration.” Presumably, this covers Americans honestly concerned over the Biden administration erasing the border line with Mexico, putting Kamala Harris in charge of not fixing it, and then clandestinely and intentionally spreading hundreds of thousands of these border-breakers around the country, never to be found again. Until it’s time to register voters who carry no ID, except appreciation for Democrats’ Welcome Wagon hospitality.
So, rather than fix the border problem or simply restore it to the peaceful place Donald Trump arranged, we’re going to crack down on folks inappropriately talking about the border problem, so it can continue unbothered and Democrats might lose less in November.
Problem is, as Twitter management just learned, one man’s disinformation is another’s right to disagree. So, it’s one more clumsy controversy Biden’s cronies created over a fundamental American right.
Yes, it seems we presently have way too much information assaulting our senses. In the “old days,” back in 1988 when Biden had to abandon his first presidential campaign for stealing another politician’s words, we had a fraction of these news sources, many of them generally trusted.
Now, there are countless thousands of sources online, not all honest or reliable, but all with a right to be wrong. This — can you handle it? — puts immense responsibility back on news consumers, paraphrasing Adlai Stevenson, to separate the wheat from the chaff. And believe the chaff.
Face it, Biden’s board is doomed. It’s like a referee asking 82,000 fans in an NFL stadium to please be polite. Or else an usher will visit them. How it looks, not what it does.
This all springs from a bothersome but basic development in modern American politics. That’s the nefarious shift from being judged by the substance of what you do in public life over time to how what you’re doing looks to the public right now. Never mind whether it works.
The photo op is the perfect vehicle to propagate this misinformation. With cameras rolling, a House member announces the introduction of a bill to fix a pressing national concern. Women standing there too, perhaps tearful, likely with kids.
Because it’s television, there’s no context. No one saying the bill is going nowhere this late in a session. And even if it did, there’s another legislative chamber controlled by the same party to efficiently shelve the bill.
No one will know about that. Because substance has no place in media’s priority for conflict coverage today. And the lead legislator doesn’t really care because the game is all about how things look.
Now, there are quite a few people concerned about how totalitarian this Disinformation Governance Board looks. It fits Joe Biden’s authoritarian aura. People who were not alive in World War II think they know all about Nazi tactics. (Reminder: Veracity matters less now than what something looks/sounds like. So, even Putin claims to be fighting Nazis in Ukraine.)
Remember also, back in the early days of the masterfully disinformative Obama-Biden administration. Obama named Biden to head up a government-wide transparency effort — so members of the public, bless their naïve little hearts, would know everything it was doing.
Great photo op. As transparency czar, Biden then called a meeting to plan administration transparency — and closed it to the public.
After Benghazi, when President Obama inexplicably went missing for 16 hours as four Americans perished, he promised “swift justice” for all the killers. Oh, look! That was another photo op squeezed into Obama’s schedule, so he could appear responsive but still make several Vegas fundraisers. A decade later, we’re still awaiting that justice.
When the IRS consistently stalled 501(c)(3) applications from conservative groups so they couldn’t oppose Obama’s reelection, he feigned fury for the microphones. Nothing ever happened. Or the government’s own Fast and Furious gun-running op that ended up killing a Border agent. Eric Holder never found time to get to the bottom of it because he’d signed off on it.
And, of course, Obama’s infamous promises – voiced 37 times – about keeping your doctor and health insurance plan. That and the assurance everyone would save at least $2,500 under ObamaCare was all disinformation. Intentional. Homemade, not Russian.
Now, Obama is trying to claim he was a tough guy with Vladimir Putin. This is the American leader who killed a missile-defense system in Eastern Europe to suck-up to Putin, the president who mocked Mitt Romney for presciently warning of Russia’s ongoing evil intentions, and the Chicago pol caught on a hot mic assuring the Russian president he’d have more flexibility after reelection.
But now Obama claims eight years free of scandal and professes great concern over disinformation.
From whence springs this coordinated Biden-Obama campaign to ‘combat’ disinformation?
Well, Biden cannot claim the Afghan exit was a well-run success. Our commander in chief abandoned more military gear to the Taliban than he could ever give Ukraine. There’s this painful new tax called inflation spawned by his trillions in new spending, and costly gas prices he tried to blame on Putin after himself squeezing U.S. production because, you see, fossil fuels are bad, until U.S. drivers are about to vote.
So, Biden’s left to complain that Americans just don’t appreciate his many successes. You know, like the millions of jobs ‘created’ during these 66 tedious weeks of his reign of error. His new DHS board won’t brand this as disinformation, though it is. These jobs are not new. They’re jobs we already had and lost temporarily in the pandemic.
It’s one thing if an elderly uncle talks goofy. It’s another if the goof is president of the United States. When Bill Clinton did a private poll on where Americans thought he should vacation (and then followed the results out West), we shook our heads over such petty political pandering.
When Joe Biden repeatedly recalls a truck-driving career he never had, contradicts his own policy statements, says things never happened that we all saw happen, shakes hands with no one any of us can see, we’d like to believe this is just a pol being a pol.
But we can’t. Which is scary. And that’s not based on any disinformation. Or even misinformation.