By Grant Atkinson April 29, 2022 at 2:12pm
Since Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced plans for a “Disinformation Governance Board” on Wednesday, those who understand the value of free speech have raised numerous concerns.
On Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he is prepared to move beyond words to action.
“Clearly, our entire principles that the country was founded on — you cannot have a ‘Ministry of Truth’ in this country,” DeSantis said.
NOW – Florida will take action against the Biden administration’s new “Ministry of Truth”, says Gov. DeSantis. pic.twitter.com/SMuNgdDzou
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) April 29, 2022
“Ministry of Truth” is a term many have used to describe the new disinformation board. The name comes from George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”
No matter how the Biden administration attempts to sugarcoat it, this board amounts to an attack on free speech.
“Let’s get real here, let’s make sure that we’re doing things to benefit Floridians and Americans, but we’re not going to let Biden get away with this one,” DeSantis said. “So we will be fighting back.”
The Biden administration has suggested that this board is a benevolent force everyone should accept, because that is exactly what an overreaching government would want people to believe.
“It sounds like the objective of the board is to prevent disinformation and misinformation from traveling around the country in a range of communities,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday. “I’m not sure who opposes that effort.”
Jen Psaki on DHS’s “Misinformation Board”:
“It sounds like the objective of the board is to prevent disinformation and misinformation from traveling around the country in a range of communities. I’m not sure who opposes that effort.” pic.twitter.com/ehh1kUnHY2
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) April 28, 2022
To answer Psaki’s question, anyone who has a basic understanding of American principles should oppose that effort for two main reasons.
The First Amendment to the Constitution protects the freedoms of speech and the press. This often includes false statements, and even a leftist outlet like The Atlantic said this was a good thing not too long ago.
In 2016, The Atlantic reported on a statute in Ohio that would have made it a crime to utter false statements against a political opponent. It would have carried a sentence of up to six months in jail.
“A federal court struck the law down in 2014 — quite rightly,” the outlet reported. “That’s not because there’s any ‘constitutional value’ in false statements of fact but because the cure — government control of what can be said in politics — is far worse than the disease.”
At the time the article was published, The Atlantic was trying to paint then-presidential candidate Donald Trump in a bad light. He had argued newspapers should not be allowed to print deliberate lies about him, and The Atlantic was explaining why he was wrong.
Fast forward six years and leftists now have one of their own in charge. They suddenly have no issue allowing the government to act as the arbiter of truth, which brings us to the second reason Americans should oppose the Disinformation Governance Board.
If the board was to be filled with completely objective people who only wanted to stop the spread of completely false information, the Biden administration may have an argument. That argument likely would not hold up against the First Amendment, but it would at least make more sense.
However, that is not what the disinformation board will be. Completely objective people hardly exist in the world of politics, and if they did, the woman chosen as the executive director of this new board would certainly not be one of them.
Biden has appointed Nina Jankowicz as the head of the board. She has a history of repeating leftist propaganda and misidentifying truths as “disinformation.”
In October 2020, she suggested during a presidential debate that the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation.
“Back on the ‘laptop from hell,’ apparently- Biden notes 50 former natsec officials and 5 former CIA heads that believe the laptop is a Russian influence op,” she wrote on Twitter. “Trump says ‘Russia, Russia, Russia.’”
Back on the “laptop from hell,” apparently- Biden notes 50 former natsec officials and 5 former CIA heads that believe the laptop is a Russian influence op.
Trump says “Russia, Russia, Russia.”
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) October 23, 2020
On Wednesday, she attempted to quell concerns by explaining that she was simply live-tweeting the event, not taking sides.
For those who believe this tweet is a key to all my views, it is simply a direct quote from both candidates during the final presidential debate. If you look at my timeline, you will see I was livetweeting that evening. https://t.co/nI7ZgBtTLC https://t.co/4DjBl9bzt0
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) April 27, 2022
This disingenuous excuse ignores the tone of her original tweet, which clearly suggested Biden was correct and Trump was trying to spread lies. In reality, the Hunter Biden laptop story was true.
Jankowicz further revealed her bias in 2020 by saying most disinformation comes from the right.
It is clear Biden has no intention of using the board to determine what is true and false. This is nothing more than a political stunt to try to silence conservatives, and DeSantis is not going to stand for it.