Although Fox & Friends cohosts suggested that the Biden administration is about to install an Orwellian Ministry of Truth that could silence them (the way they want to silence those not in lockstep with their politics), the facts show that DHS’ Disinformation Governance Board is, as far as we know, about continuing work done under the Trump administration to combat foreign disinformation. WaPo’s Aaron Blake explains:
One could certainly object to the federal government taking a role in this and worry about the effort going too far, potentially chilling speech — just as one can worry today about the federal government getting into the truth-deciding business. But the stated purpose of the effort was quite different from how it was cast by its opponents. And today, there is no real evidence that DHS plans to crack down on ordinary citizens spreading misinformation online, for instance. The two specific examples cited thus far involve human smugglers and Russians.
(It’s also worth noting that the Trump administration’s DHS undertook similar efforts; in 2018 it created the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which dealt extensively with the spread of misinformation online — including both foreign interference in elections and the domestic spread of coronavirus misinformation. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the new board would be “a continuation of the work of the former president” when asked about it Friday.)
But on Fox News, discussions are never about ideas or sincere debate; they are always about weaponizing whatever topic is at hand in order to strongarm the rest of us into submitting to their right-wing politics. In this case, the demon was the disinformation board.
Rachel Campos-Duffy got the hate mongering going with her suggestion that conservatives should start worrying about Biden fascists. She said, “the entire country, not the entire country, half the country is really worried about” the board.
Cohost Will Cain suggested that “even those on the left” wonder “How did we wake up George Orwell, shake his old bones and tell him you were capable of completely predicting the future?”
He then moved on to smear the board’s executive director, Nina Jankowicz as an “absolutely cartoonish character they have chosen to take over and tell us all what is and is not true.”
In fact, Jankowicz has impeccable credentials for such a task. Instead of the hosts noting any of them, they played a clip of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki talking about Jankowicz’s qualifictions and how the board is an extension of work begun under the Trump DHS, thus suggesting that might just be partisan rhetoric.
The propagandists skipped over any explanation of what the Trump administration did in order to get right to demonizing Jankowicz and the disinformation board. Cohost Pete Hegseth sneered that she’s “a 30-something, D.C., Georgetown creature, the perfect person to live inside the bubble and the echo chamber and decide for you and for the rest of us what is disinformation.”
Hegseth called the board a “behemoth” that the left has “weaponized” and a “perfect example of why conservatives and Republicans should be wary of growing government and its scope.” He forgot to add, "unless they grow government to tyrannize women’s health care choices, to monitor what books are in libraries, what teachers say in classrooms and to punish corporations that don’t go along."
Not that any of the other hosts reminded him. Campos-Duffy sucked up: “I love, Pete, how you got right to the point: limited government. This is what happens when you allow government to grow and grow and grow.”
Then, as Cain held up the front page of Murdoch’s New York Post, calling Jankowicz “Scary Poppins,” Campos-Duffy launched on the kind of idiotic smear only she could have come up with – that Jankowicz is unfit because she was probably vaccinated against COVID-19:
CAMPOS-DUFFY: I tell you what I find scary about it, is exactly what you said, Pete. She is the perfect embodiment of this generation. You say, there’s a lot of people that are upset – well, you’re right. They’re generally about our age and older.
My fear is the younger generation, people who come out of the same sort of cultural soup that this woman came out of. If you just look at, for example, at college campuses right now, these are the same people who were forced to take a vaccine, for which there were no long-term studies, for which they were essentially lab rats, and for which they knew they did not need these vaccines because of their age group. And they took it anyway because the government and the schools said you had to. Like, 90-some percent of these college kids who were forced to get vaccinated did get vaccinated.
This is a generation that is lost, that does not rebel, compliant. There were no protests about body autonomy, so this is the future because those are the future leaders.
Congratulations, Ms. Campos-Duffy. I think you found an even dumber attack on Jankowicz than Brian Kilmeade’s beef that “she’s eight months pregnant.”