Biden’s Disinformation Nanny: Why Nina Jankowicz is “Practically Perfect in Every Way.”

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Below is a slightly expanded version of my column in The Hill on the appointment of Nina Jankowicz as the new head of the federal government’s announced Disinformation Governance Board. This Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas assured CNN viewers that there is nothing to fear from his new Disinformation Governance Board, which will “gather together best practices in addressing the threat of disinformation.” I think we can guess what the “best practice” might be from one of the most vocal advocates of corporate and state censorship.

Here is the column:

“You can just call me the Mary Poppins of disinformation.” That Twitter intro to a TikTok parody of the song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is now indelibly connected to Nina Jankowicz, the new head of the federal government’s announced Disinformation Governance Board.

Given her record of spreading disinformation and advocating censorship, Jankowicz hardly needed the musical-inspired persona. Yet, for the Biden administration, Jankowicz — like Mary Poppins — is “practically perfect in every way” to keep track of whether we all “measure up” in our public statements.

It is still unclear from the administration’s public statements what authority the board will wield, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki described the board as intended “to prevent disinformation and misinformation from traveling around the country in a range of communities.”

It was no accident that Jankowicz alighted on this Administration. She is the perfect nanny to tidy up the mess of free speech. President Biden already has established himself as arguably the most anti-free speech president since John Adams. During his transition period, Biden appointed outspoken advocates for censorship; as president, he has pushed social media companies to expand censorship, while his administration has been criticized for spying on journalists.

Now, with Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and his pledge to restore free speech values to the platform, panic has set in among Democrats — including Jankowicz, who told National Public Radio, “I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for the marginalized communities.”

Jankowicz’s singing voice may be impressive, but her appointment is tone-deaf.

She has been ridiculed for pushing the false “Russian disinformation” claim about the original reporting on Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop, stressing that “we should view it as a Trump campaign product.” She continued to spread that disinformation, including tweeting a link to a news article that she said cast “yet more doubt on the provenance of the NY Post’s Hunter Biden story.” In another related tweet, she added that “emails don’t need to be altered to be part of an influence campaign. Voters deserve that context, not a [fairy] tale about a laptop repair shop.” Conversely, she cited Christopher Steele, author of the discredited “Steele dossier” during the 2016 presidential campaign, as a source on how to stop disinformation.

An even more tone-deaf figure may be Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who appointed Jankowicz to her new role. Mayorkas seemingly follows that other Mary Poppins command — “I would like to make one thing clear: I never explain anything” — as he and President Biden have maintained one of the most disgraceful examples of disinformation: the accusation that U.S. border agents whipped migrants in Texas.

The whipping story is a chilling example of real disinformation that can be devastating for individuals and destructive in politics. The story of white officers whipping Haitian migrants at the southern border was utterly irresistible and eagerly embraced by many media and political figures. It was based largely on a misleading photograph of a mounted border officer, despite an available video that clearly refuted the whipping claim. Even the image’s photographer stated at the time that the story was false and “nobody saw a Border Patrol agent whipping” anyone.

Still, many in the media went into a familiar feeding frenzy, encouraged by key political figures. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) declared that the alleged whipping was just the latest example of “white supremacist behavior.” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said the incident was “worse than what we witnessed in slavery” and decried that “the cowboys who were running down Haitians and using their reins to whip them.” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) condemned the purported “inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants by Border Patrol — including the use of whips.”

The verdict was in, and President Biden went on every network to announce it at the start of the investigation. He expressed disgust over watching what he termed the “horrible … outrageous” actions of the agents as they “strapped” migrants, and he declared, “I promise you, those people will pay.”

For his part, Mayorkas — the official tasked with investigating the allegation — said that the alleged conduct of the agents “correctly and necessarily were met with our nation’s horror.” He then promised that his department would complete the investigation “with tremendous speed and with tremendous force … thoroughly, but very quickly. It will be completed in days, not weeks.”

That was more than six months ago.

As early declarations of Biden and others quickly fell apart, the White House went into uncharacteristic silence. The promised speedy investigation mysteriously dragged on. The facts supporting or disproving the whipping allegation were evident within 24 hours — but a finding that the agents never whipped any migrants would be embarrassing to Mayorkas and the president. Accordingly, rather than announcing a finding in a matter of days, the agents continue in limbo.

This month, it has been reported that the agents were cleared of criminal assault. Yet the White House has refused to apologize, and Mayorkas has refused to publicly state that the agents were cleared.

Instead, the White House’s Psaki was confronted recently by Ebony McMorris, of American Urban Radio Networks, who asked for the president’s response to the lack of punishment for “patrol agents that were seen whipping Haitian migrants.” Keep in mind there is no video showing agents whipping Haitians but, instead, a video showing the contrary. Yet some in the media are still demanding punishment, and the White House refuses to alter its original condemnation.

What would the Mary Poppins of Disinformation call that?

As Jankowicz sang in her video:

“Information laundering is really quite ferocious.

“It’s when a huckster takes some lies and makes them sound precocious.

“By saying them in Congress or a mainstream outlet so

 “Disinformation’s origins are slightly less atrocious.”

The new Disinformation Governance Board head may have a theme song, but Jankowicz may be quickly losing her credibility. Psaki first admitted she didn’t know who Jankowicz was — and then the following day offered a tepid defense that she was someone with an extensive background, including testimony in both the British Parliament and Congress. (She failed to mention Jankowicz was advocating public and private censorship.) Psaki then stressed twice that Jankowicz was selected by Mayorkas and Homeland Security.

For his part, Mayorkas said he was unaware of the past positions and statements of an appointee he had just praised as uniquely qualified.

In Washington speak, that’s a signal that “wind’s in the east, mist comin’ in” — and it may be time for Janlowicz to grab her the umbrella and blow.

However, even if that happened, it would leave the question of who will appear next to “measure up” an impressionable public. If the east wind blows, two things are certain. Any replacement will have the same anti-free speech sentiments and will not have a TikTok account.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

206 thoughts on “Biden’s Disinformation Nanny: Why Nina Jankowicz is “Practically Perfect in Every Way.””

  1. (Rhetorical) As a TRAGIC Subject Matter Expert / Very Well-Known pre-Snowden National Security Whistleblower on the “Military Industrial Surveillance Complex” aka “BIG TECH” AND HOW TO FIX IT!!! — I must state the obvious. Like the “PATRIOT ACT” that Joe Biden bragged about authoring in 1995 this Big Pervy Uncle “Disinformation Governance Board” PRECEDENT has been sitting on the shelf waiting for the right moment / kickstarter. – In 2009 it was known as Barack Obama’s pal Cass Sunstein’s Harvard Paper / PLAN calling for the BANNING & CRIMINALIZATION of Conspiracy Theorists / Conspiracy Theories. – So why wasn’t Cass Sunstein considered as the Board Head? TOO OBVIOUS??? And Nina Jankowicz isn’t? — Not since GW Bush’s obviously insane / oblivious “TELL” selecting Henry Kissinger to be the original Chairman of the 9-11 Commission has a decision to promote a sycophant criminal co-conspirator been more obvious!!! – WOW… a country in a perpetual constant state of war with governments we don’t like and against each other…. talking about “Liberty, Freedom, Democracy”…. and now pimps the UBER ORWELLIAN “Edward Bernays MINISTRY OF PROPATAINMENT” telling us WHO and WHAT we need to be afraid of!!! — Edward Bernays “PROPAGANDA” (1928) “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of out country.” / “Those that can get you to believe absurdities… can get you to commit atrocities.” (attributed) Voltaire – Questioning, challenging, arguing, demanding transparency and accountability isn’t dissent… it’s supposed to be democracy! – Peace. Mark J. Novitsky Ephesians 6:12

    1. BTW… I was engaged in all of this when “MASS FORMATION PSYCHOSIS” was called “Psychological Operations”. – “In a world of universal deceit… telling the TRUTH is a REVOLUTIONARY ACT.” (Orwell) — VERY Dangerous also… I would tell you to ask Michael “The Operator’s” Hastings but he was killed one week after writing “WHY DEMOCRATS LOVE TO SPY ON AMERICAN’S” was published. — TMI??? Peace. Sincerely, Mark J. Novitsky 2005 Denver Compost “Too Much of a Hero”

  2. No, it’s not ad hominem. An ad hominem fallacy involves making an **irrelevant** attack on the arguer and suggesting that this attack undermines the argument itself. But the issue I raised — that Turley has not presented a well-reasoned criticism and would need to deal with the meaning of “first amendment absolutist” vis-a-vis the kinds of censorship that he supports — is quite relevant.

    You claim to have taught logic. You should have a better grasp of what is and isn’t ad hom.

      1. A “socialist” are the people FASCISTS want you to be afraid of. Peace. Mark J. Novitsky

        1. Socialists never want to concede the results of socialism in the past. They never want us to remember that the name of a country was The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. They just keep telling us that true socialism has never been tried. They just keep thinking that if we just can find the true altruistic leader that socialism will finally work. The only explanation that I can think of is that they are still searching for the perfect father who will fulfill their every desire. Daddy will not be coming to rescue you. He is just coming to tell you when you can or can not leave your room.

          1. “[T]hey are still searching for the perfect father . . .”

            That’s an excellent and very important point.

            The one who cannot think for himself, and cannot figure out what to do — that’s the one desperate for an Omnipotent Leader. That helpless psychology is the soil for paternalism.

            1. What income level is going to pay for this next tax increase to pay for the government caused inflation. Is it just the same old cycle of Economic Repression modified from the days of those trained by the Soviets? IS GOVERNMENT going to pay their fair share this time? Are the banks going to just pass it on to the lower brackets this time as usual.

              ARE YOUSURE you want to vote socialist fascist again?

    1. “No, it’s not ad hominem.”

      If I thought that you were able to understand, and were intellectually honest, I would offer an explanation.

  3. The events of last night and this morning confirm one thing, The left is terrified of democracy. We can look forward to another summer of leftist inspired, government sanctioned riots and violence. But Americans are learning to stand tall against the activists. We are taking our nation back, one step at a time. Through the democratic process.

    1. States have the power and must restrict the vote.

      One man, one vote democracy will always vote itself into incoherence, hysteria, anarchy and oblivion.

      Democracy has been of the restricted-vote variety since inception in Greece, perpetuation in Rome and establishment in America.

      The republican form established by the American Founders exists today in China (under the Communist Manifesto) including a severely restricted vote, congress, president and court system.

      The critical DIFFERENCE is the dominion of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

      1. True but it offers more also offers more. The Constitution offers everything democracy has to offer and one more the fascist socialists refuse as you have witnessed. They are not Democratic in the least

  4. AP publishes misinformation re: SCOTUS contradicting their rubric for censoring the Hunter laptop story

    By: The Associated Press
    Posted at 9:52 PM, May 02, 2022

    The Associated Press could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the draft, which if verified marks a shocking revelation of the high court’s secretive deliberation process.

    Censoring is their forte when it comes to matters that matter to them.

  5. Can Professor Turley please employ a copy editor?
    The frequent errors in his “finalized” articles strengthens nothing yet diminishes the credibility of his writings.

    1. Denny, so a misspelled word or a missing coma diminishes an argument. In your world a post with a grammatical error has less merit. When I was in high school I wrote a paper that I thought was insightful. All I got back was a criticism of my punctuation. When I was in college I wrote a paper that the Professor read before the class. In his notes he mentioned my grammatical errors and suggested how I could correct them. Which one of these teachers would you be?

      1. I have been and remain a big fan and have followed Professor Turley’s postings for years.
        As both a paralegal and copy editor, I rely heavily on spelling and grammar check programs.
        (In fact, with my lack of a comma in my original response, I ran it through my checks again and there was NO comma requirement by either, though I agree and believe there should have been.)
        However, I am not responding to misplaced commas and such as you, somehow, think that is all for which I complain.
        Do I make mistakes?
        Of course.
        But I do not believe I have repeated the same paragraph three (3) times consecutively.
        I try to be consistent in the spelling of a person’s name where on several occasions I have seen a subject’s spelled differently within a Turley article.
        I try to not overuse “he” to where several people are mentioned but it is not always possible to determine to which person the pronoun applies.
        These are the type of errors I have read in Professor Turley’s writings that, in my opinion, affects credibility.
        In three decades, I have seen minor errors that have resulted in serious complications.
        Consider the errant addition or omission of a “not” in an order and what could come of that.
        Mistake?
        Yes.
        Working in the legal profession, much like the medical field, requires a high standard of attention and commitment to accuracy.
        Thank you.

  6. “The Roe v Wade decision leak has damaged the Supreme Court.”

    – Professor Turley
    ______________

    The Supreme Court has damaged, nay, destroyed the rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities of Americans, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, since 1860. The judicial branch has no power to legislate, modify legislation, or modify legislation by “interpretation,” which is inherent in the oath sworn by Justices, to “support” the “manifest tenor” of the literal English words of the Constitution. The sole charge of the Supreme Court and judicial branch is to assure that actions comport with statutory and fundamental law – not to write law or dictate from the bench.

    The entire communistic American welfare state is unconstitutional including, but not limited to, matriculation affirmative action, grade-inflation affirmative action, employment affirmative action, quotas, welfare, food stamps, minimum wage, rent control, social services, forced busing, public housing, utility subsidies, WIC, SNAP, TANF, HAMP, HARP, TARP, HHS, HUD, Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Labor, Energy, Obamacare, Social Security, Social Security Disability, Social Security Supplemental Income, Medicare, Medicaid, “Fair Housing” laws, “Non-Discrimination” laws, etc.

    Article 1, Section 8, provides Congress the power to tax ONLY for “…general Welfare…,” omitting and, thereby, excluding any power to tax for individual welfare, specific welfare, redistribution of wealth or charity. The same article provides Congress the power to regulate ONLY money, the “flow” of commerce, and land and naval Forces. Additionally, the 5th Amendment right to private property is not qualified by the Constitution and is, therefore, absolute, allowing Congress no power to claim or exercise dominion over private property, the sole exception being the power to “take” private property for public use.

    Government exists, under the Constitution and Bill of Rights, to provide maximal freedom to individuals while it is severely limited and restricted to merely facilitating that maximal freedom of individuals through the provision of security and infrastructure.

    Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto 59 years after the adoption of the Constitution because none of the principles of the Communist Manifesto were in the Constitution. Had the principles of the Communist Manifesto been in the Constitution, Karl Marx would have had no reason to write the Communist Manifesto. The principles of the Communist Manifesto were not in the Constitution then and the principles of the Communist Manifesto are not in the Constitution now.

    The Supreme Court may have been damaged.

    The Supreme Court must have been impeached…

    together with most of the judicial branch for “legislating from the bench,” abuse of power, usurpation of power, gross dereliction, gross negligence, subversion, and, in that the last 162 years of communization has America “…adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort…,” treason.

    1. Not as much as the socialists claiming to be democratic when they are the opposite. Everything good about democracy was an is embedded in our Constitutional Republic system. Routinely violated by socialists in their fascist or democrat disguise. Plain to see.

  7. It’s not very respectful for Democrats to demand the right to curate what we can read, find, or say online. It’s the ultimate book burning, except, instead of burning your own copy of a book in protest, it deletes or hides all books with which they disagree. This isn’t a genuine disagreement about what is age appropriate for children to read at their school library, without their parents’ permission, but rather an entitled belief that the Democrat Party has the right to determine what adults are allowed to say on the internet. This is aligned with Communist China.

    1. Karen,

      Democrats aren’t demanding the right to curate what you can read, find, or say online, so drop that straw man.

      You can say whatever you want on the internet on your own website (subject to laws against defamation, child porn, and the like). You can say whatever you want on the internet in private emails and text messages (ditto). You have not ever had the right to say whatever you want on a company’s website that you do not own. If you don’t not agree with their Terms of Service, don’t use them (I’ve never had a Facebook account for that reason), but if you agree to their ToS, then don’t complain if they apply their ToS.

      Figure out how to have an honest discussion about it. Hyperbole like yours only does harm.

      1. “Hyperbole like yours only does harm.”

        Apologists for censorship (like you) are far more destructive than is any alleged “hyperbole.”

        1. I strongly support the First Amendment.

          That means that I support not only the First Amendment rights of individuals, but also the First Amendment rights of companies. That you wish to distort that into “apologist for censorship” suggests that you do not support companies’ First Amendment rights.

  8. It should be noted that when President Trump was in office, Jankowicz viewed his use of “fake news” to object to erroneous reporting as fascist, and an abuse of power. She said she shuddered to think of the executive branch having the kind of power to control information. You may find it difficult to locate her past remarks and video, as Google buries search results injurious to Democrats.

    https://thepostmillennial.com/flashback-new-disinfo-board-head-said-executive-branch-shouldnt-have-the-power-to-determine-fake-news

    “”Imagine that, you know, with President Trump right now calling all of these news organizations that have inconvenient for him stories that they — that they’re getting out there that he’s calling fake news, and now lashing out at platforms,” said Jankowicz.
    “I would never want to see our executive branch have that sort of power,” she added.“

    This is on a whole new level than criticizing a story as fake. A Disinformation Board is Orwellian. It harkens to Mao, Pol Pot, Chavez, Maduro, and Mussolini. Any sitting president is free to disagree with a news story. Joe Biden repeatedly lied and said Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal was Russian disinformation and a Trump slur. It would be highly risky to have a federal Disinformation Board.

    The White House already has a website in which it puts out PR and public information. Most of the media, Hollywood, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, public schools, and academia already operate as de facto Democrat PR machines. As soon as they lost some control of Twitter, they went full tyrant.

    Ask yourself why they are so threatened at the prospect of free speech on the internet. Ask why they don’t trust minorities to choose which internet spaces to visit.

    1. “A Disinformation Board is Orwellian”

      Karen, according to you, what is this board charged with doing? And how do you know?

  9. To Anonymous, allowing Free Speech in no way means a person must agree with what is said. That would be Free Speech for thee but not for me. I believe 1000% in censorship, but it’s the original censorship for morality not this new censorship of viewpoints so that we have a Brave New World type of Free Speech where one is only allow to express agreeing viewpoints. No doubt you disagree with me as much I do with you..

    1. I agree that “allowing Free Speech in no way means a person must agree with what is said.” So perhaps we do not disagree as much as you assume.

      I don’t understand what you mean by “the original censorship for morality,” so I have no way to assess whether or not I agree.

      I don’t agree that there is a “new censorship of viewpoints so that we have a Brave New World type of Free Speech where one is only allow to express agreeing viewpoints.”

    1. Keep taxes down while not sacrificing food. Can’t tax burned unsalable.at least not if you knw how.

  10. Now, with Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and his pledge to restore free speech values to the platform, panic has set in among Democrats — including Jankowicz, who told National Public Radio, “I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for the marginalized communities.”

    Marxists have one defining trait: denigrate their “enemy” when reason betrays them. Marginalized communities, and I belong to at least 4, embrace free speech because we have an opportunity to speak as well. Plus, the Left do not speak for “marginalized communities”. Far from it. We are 100% Americans first and foremost, not a hyphenated one. Drop the identity politics virtue signaling.

    The “absolutists” are the Jankowicz – National Peoples Radio types, who take grave exception to opposing views to the point of apoplexy. Communists like Stalin, Mao, Putin, Xi, Fidel/Raul Castros, etc are like that. Jackowicz is in great company. They should be ridiculed and, ahem, marginalized!

    Thankfully Professor Turley defends the First Amendment that was meant for society at large, not just the government. It appears his GW law school colleague, Professor Jeffrey Rosen, does too. The Legacy Media is outflanked and outsmarted. Down with Commies

    🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/05/elon-musk-twitter-free-speech-first-amendment/629721/

    Elon Musk Is Right That Twitter Should Follow the First Amendment
    A long history of free-speech jurisprudence backs him up.
    By Jeffrey Rosen

    But Musk’s position is, in fact, convincing. Although private companies are not required to follow the First Amendment, nothing prevents them from doing so voluntarily. And in Twitter’s case in particular, there are strong reasons to believe that the First Amendment should presumptively govern. All four of the main principles that have historically guided the Supreme Court in interpreting the First Amendment apply just as powerfully to social-media platforms as they do to governments….

    1. “Marxists have one defining trait: denigrate their “enemy” when reason betrays them.”

      So is Turley a Marxist?!?

      He’s denigrating Jankowicz, but he does not present a reasoned criticism.

      He pretends that there’s something wrong with her saying “I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for the marginalized communities.” But if he were to present a reasoned criticism, Turley would need to acknowledge that he is not himself a free speech absolutist and explain why. In another column, he admitted “most sites (including my own blog) delete racist and offensive terms. … There are also standard rules against doxxing as well as personal threats or privacy violations.” Most of the speech that he chooses to delete is protected under the First Amendment. So why is he denigrating Jankowicz for advocating moderation of the sort that he himself chooses?

      You, too, often denigrate without presenting reasoned criticism. You pretend to present something reasoned, but on inspection, your argument is full of holes, such as your fallacious grouping of Jankowicz with dictators. Does that make you a Marxist?!?

      1. For starters, “Free Speech Absolutist” ignores the obvious fact that not all speech is allowed. If you’ve taken an oath not to reveal state secrets, for example, blabbing them can get you in legal hot water. Ditto if you slander or libel a private person, as the media learned when they labeled Nick Sandmann a racist.

        Next, Turley is not “denigrating” Jankowicz—he is criticizing her anti-free speech stance, ESPECIALLY in view of the First Amendment’s prohibition of government making “no law” regarding the freedom of speech. Turley is not a government employee.

        Finally, censoring people who make racist, offensive or libelous comments on a private website has nothing to do with a government bureau choosing what comments, criticisms, or views it will allow to be written or uttered. Doing so IS a hallmark of tyranny and dictatorship. Have you not heard her brag about shutting people down for their views? Do you have any idea how muddled your thinking is?

        1. You seem to be imagining “a government bureau choosing what comments, criticisms, or views it will allow to be written or uttered.”

          Turley has not presented evidence of that existing in our country. You have not presented evidence of it either.

          My opinion is that Turley is denigrating Jankowicz. Your opinion is “Turley is not “denigrating” Jankowicz.” People often have different opinions about things.

          1. “You have not presented evidence of it either.”

            There is not enough evidence in the universe to convince *you* that DGB is censorship.

            1. You mean it doesn’t mean dirty garbage bag? How else do you explain the far left’s attacks on our country and it’s democratically filled Constitutional Republic system of government? Dumb goombah bagel? Ok dis dgb whatever and go back to socialist fascist. SF? AHHH yes Pelosillini

          2. I can tell you were never in school or church or government or military. What a sheltered life.The

      2. “But if he were to present a reasoned criticism, Turley would need to acknowledge that he is not himself a free speech absolutist and explain why.”

        There is nothing “reasoned” about your requirement. In fact, it’s the opposite of reasoning. It’s ad hominem.

        1. Difference is with our Constitutional Republic WE HAVE all the best ademocracy offered. Under the fascist socialists who are in no way democratic we are being asked to give up the best of both.

          In democracy we all vote on everything at every level. With the fascist socialists only the ruling class of their classless society Rules.

          1. We need no seig heilers under a different name. This year is proving it.

            1. Socialist fascism is exactly what I have seen it to be and stated for six decades..you want to be their dogs? Start barking at the moon.You will get no sympathy and no more sed blood from me. Cowards take care of yourselves. Didn’t you pay attention to Herr General Comrade Milley?8

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