I have good news if you value free speech and don’t want the government jamming its nose into the issue. Joe Biden’s new “Ministry of Truth,” officially known as the Disinformation Governance Board, has been put on hold.
That comes after its chosen leader, Nina Jankowicz, was thoroughly exposed as not only a far-left quack but also a disturbing promoter of government censorship. RedState has reported extensively on her past, from Jankowicz’s rants about “gender disinformation” to her desire to be able to edit other people’s social media posts.
Now, per The Washington Post, the Disinformation Governance Board has been paused, and guess who is responsible? You got it, those dastardly Republicans who don’t wish to live in a George Orwell novel.
WaPo has the scoop that the Disinformation Board is getting shut down and, surprise, this is the framing pic.twitter.com/6qny6Ng7xT
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) May 18, 2022
Now, just three weeks after its announcement, the Disinformation Governance Board is being “paused,” according to multiple employees at DHS, capping a back-and-forth week of decisions that changed during the course of reporting of this story. On Monday, DHS decided to shut down the board, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation. By Tuesday morning, Jankowicz had drafted a resignation letter in response to the board’s dissolution.
But Tuesday night, Jankowicz was pulled into an urgent call with DHS officials who gave her the choice to stay on, even as the department’s work was put on hold because of the backlash it faced, according to multiple people with knowledge of the call. Working groups within DHS focused on mis-, dis- and mal-information have been suspended. The board could still be shut down pending a review from the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Jankowicz is evaluating her position within the department.
The article is written by the objectively awful Taylor Lorenz and is basically a love letter to Jankowicz, but the bottom line news value here is that DHS is not only pausing the board but is likely to fully terminate it going forward.
The question is why? Lorenz spends her screed blaming conservatives for an “unrelenting barrage of harassment,” which is really just code for “some people criticized government officials I like.” Color me skeptical on that front, though. In what other situation has the Biden administration, and specifically DHS, which is currently presiding over the border crisis, ever cared one iota about what conservatives think? I can’t think of one.
So why should any of us believe that the backlash over Jankowicz had an effect when past backlashes have never had any effect? The answer is that we shouldn’t believe that.
Rather, I suspect the reason for the board’s possible downfall is two-fold. One, there are serious constitutional concerns about the government forming an entity that attempts to directly influence the proliferation of speech in the nation. It doesn’t matter if the board doesn’t have an enforcement mechanism. It is against the law for the government to subvert the First Amendment by proxy. Given that, it would be a really bad look for an already collapsing administration if they suffered a defeat at the Supreme Court over such a fundamental issue.
Lastly, I think it probably dawned on some of the leadership at DHS that a Republican will be back in the White House sooner rather than later. Given the dramatic left-lean at these federal bureaucracies, I doubt they want to see Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis in charge of policing “disinformation” from their viewpoint. Perhaps they fully pull the plug here to avoid handing their political opposition a tool they wanted for themselves?
Regardless, there shouldn’t be a Disinformation Governance Board in the United States. This isn’t Europe, and we actually value free speech here. That the Biden administration even attempted to do this should be disqualifying.
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