According to far-left creep and perpetual whiner Taylor Lorenz of The Washington Post, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided this week it would put a pause on the dangerous, Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) due to what they claimed were “unjustified and vile personal attacks and physical threats” to executive director Nina Jankowicz.
Late Tuesday morning, Lorenz tweeted after the article's publication that Jankowicz officially resigned.
Lorenz wrote: “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.”
She explained that DHS decided “[o]n Monday...to shut down the board” and, “[b]y Tuesday morning, Jankowicz had drafted a resignation letter,” but they decided hours later to keep their options open with Jankowicz being begged to stay:
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[.]
Lorenz revealed the news in a clownish piece entitled, “How the Biden administration let right-wing attacks derail its disinformation efforts” that lamented Jankowicz “was the victim of coordinated online attacks as the administration struggled to respond.”
She gushed over the woman who believed (among other things) that Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation, endorsed European-style regulation of free speech, peddled bogus claims about Trump-Russia collusion, suggested select Twitter users should be allowed to “edit” other users’ tweets, and touted claims in the completely-discredited Steele dossier.
Of course, Jankowicz and the board have yet to be acknowledged on the broadcast networks on their flagship morning and evening newscasts. And nowhere in the piece did Lorenz concede that determining what's misinformation is none of the government's business.
Lorenz lamented that Jankowicz was battered “by the very forces she dedicated her career to combating” and “was on the receiving end of the harshest attacks, with her role mischaracterized as she became a primary target on the right-wing Internet.”
“She has been subject to an unrelenting barrage of harassment and abuse while unchecked misrepresentations of her work continue to go viral,” she added.
Since Lorenz and her sources were all in agreement, it was no surprise that a DHS spokesperson sounded like Lorenz and, as per Glenn Greenwald, Lorenz and Jankowicz were quite friendly on Twitter.
As she often does, Lorenz framed objections to her views as nefarious, calling the uproar “a prime example of how the right-wing Internet apparatus operates, where far-right influencers attempt to identify a target, present a narrative and then repeat mischaracterizations across social media and websites with the aim of discrediting and attacking anyone who seeks to challenge them.”
Lorenz painted opposition to Jankowicz as a smoke-filled, backroom image that began thanks to “far-right influencer Jack Posobiec” having used “a derogatory comparison point” by dubbing DGB “a ‘Ministry of Truth.’”
She continued lashing out at conservative media (hey, that’s us!) and elected officials (click “expand”):
The board was created to study best practices in combating the harmful effects of disinformation and to help DHS counter viral lies and propaganda that could threaten domestic security...[N]either the board nor Jankowicz had any power or ability to declare what is true or false, or compel Internet providers, social media platforms or public schools to take action against certain types of speech. In fact, the board itself had no power or authority to make any operational decisions.
“The Board’s purpose has been grossly mischaracterized; it will not police speech,” the DHS spokesperson said. “Quite the opposite, its focus is to ensure that freedom of speech is protected.”
Posobiec’s early tweets shaped the narrative and Jankowicz was positioned as the primary target. Republican lawmakers echoed Posobiec’s framing and amplified it to their audiences.
The week following the announcement, approximately 70 percent of Fox News’ one-hour segments mentioned either Jankowicz or the board, with correspondents frequently deriding the board as a “Ministry of Truth,” according to Advance Democracy.
Dozens of websites including Breitbart, the Post Millennial, the Daily Caller and the New York Post began mining Jackowicz’s past social media posts and publishing articles to generate controversy. Some were simply mocking, making fun of her for parodying a song from “Mary Poppins” to talk about misinformation. In another instance, a performance where Jankowicz sings a popular musical theater song about a person’s desire to become rich and powerful, was misrepresented to imply that Jankowicz herself was after money and power and would sleep with men to get it.
Lorenz blamed the Biden administration for not having more forcefully backed the board, which led into a snarky quote from perpetual clown-turned-White House press aide Andrew Bates echoing Lorenz by decrying “bad-faith, right-wing actors” that “smear[ed]...a deeply qualified expert.”
The back-end of her article all but conceded that the board was created so as to crush and maim conservatives (click “expand”):
Experts say that right-wing disinformation and smear campaigns regularly follow the same playbook and that it’s crucial that the public and leaders of institutions, especially in the government, the media and educational bodies, understand more fully how these cycles operate.
The campaigns invariably start with identifying a person to characterize as a villain. Attacking faceless institutions is difficult, so a figurehead (almost always a woman or person of color) is found to serve as its face. Whether that person has actual power within that institution is often immaterial. By discrediting those made to represent institutions they seek to bring down, they discredit the institution itself.
Harassment and reputational harm is core to the attack strategy. Institutions often treat reputational harm and online attacks as a personnel matter, one that unlucky employees should simply endure quietly.
Jankowicz’s case is a perfect example of this system at work[.]
The worst thing any institution can do in the face of such attacks is remain quiet, several disinformation researchers said.
Lorenz closed on an ominous note by quoting “one Hill staffer with knowledge of the situation” who was concerned that Jankowicz’s job “was to come up with strategies for the department to counter this type of campaign” and then a DHS official insisting they’ll “need another Nina down the road.”