She Warned Against Government Control Over Free Speech; Now She’s Biden’s Disinformation Czar

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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Is Old Joe Biden’s new Disinformation Governance Board chief, Nina Jankowicz, a supporter of the First Amendment after all, despite all appearances to the contrary? Video has surfaced in which she discusses the president clamping down on dissent and declares that she would “never want to see our executive branch have that sort of power.” That’s great, but she said this in May 2020, when Donald Trump was president. Now that Old Joe is pretending to be president, not only is Jankowicz just fine with the executive branch having that sort of power, but she has happily signed on to be the executive’s chief officer charged with wielding that power.

In Her Own Words

Jankowicz says:

Imagine that, you know, with President Trump right now calling all of these news organizations that have — uh, inconvenient for him — stories that they’re getting out there, that he’s calling “fake news,” and now lashing out at platforms. I would never want to see our executive branch have that sort of power, and that’s why, you know, the legislative process, with our duly elected, uh, officials is really important. That sort of consultative rule-making process. Um, and we can’t just govern by executive order anymore.

This was an odd statement, albeit not exactly coherent. Jankowicz appears to be saying that Trump’s criticism of the establishment media constituted executive branch overreach, even though Trump never made a move to censor the press (nor should he have done so). But the video is fragmentary; it may be that Jankowicz said this as part of a case she was making against executive branch oversight of the media. Yet as the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board, she will be policing “disinformation” on behalf of a department of the executive branch. The reason for her turnaround is obvious: now Trump is gone and people who share Jankowicz’s worldview are in power. So if they exercise censorship, that’s just fine.

Jankowicz went on to warn about the “anti-democratic” dangers of the Polish government trying to counter Facebook bias:

In the more undemocratic countries, I’m thinking, um, in particular of Poland, Poland has established this consultative process with its Ministry of, uh, Digitalization, and Facebook, um, because like the Trump administration, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the, uh, uh, Law and Justice Party got this idea from the Trump administration, they, uh, they believe that there is anti-conservative bias on Facebook, even though there have been multiple studies that prove otherwise, uh, and they have this consultative process where they send someone from the Ministry of Digitalization to discuss with, uh, Facebook’s officers in Warsaw all of the instances of, uh, unfair content moderation, and some of them are being overturned, um, through that political pressure. They have a tip line that people can kind of report when they think their content has been unjustly overturned. And the Trump administration has a similar thing. So it’s providing a lot of fodder for anti-democratic, um, online governance. And it’s very, very scary, and I think this is really where Congress needs to step in.”

A Fan of Censorship

So a government tip line in Poland about Facebook bias was a dangerous threat to “democracy,” and of course, it was all Donald Trump’s fault. But Jankowicz doesn’t hesitate to call for censorship of what she calls “online gender-based harassment,” an elastic term that could mean practically anything, up to and including pointing out that Rachel Levine and Lia Thomas are not, in fact, women at all, but men. She wants Congress to expand the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to include speech that she finds offensive.

It’s quite clear that Nina Jankowicz is a fan of government censorship when she is part of the government and it is advancing her pet causes and favored agendas. Her prophetic warnings against the executive branch arrogating to itself the power to censor speech it disliked are all gone now; you won’t hear her mention the dangers of that again unless she wants to gaslight leftist rubes into thinking she actually supports the First Amendment. She and the others behind the Disinformation Governance Board continue to be vague about its scope. Politico noted Friday: “Information on the Biden administration’s war on disinformation proved scarce. When the Associated Press asked DHS for an interview for details, the department stiffed them, according to the AP’s April 28 story.” Since then, we’ve gotten double talk and mission creep.

Nina Jankowicz epitomizes the hypocrisy of the left. Freedom of speech refers to when leftists speak; no one else should take this freedom for granted. “Our democracy” means the left’s hegemony, and threats to “our democracy” mean that conservatives are starting to fight back. Unless she can be stopped and this unconstitutional Board dismantled, Jankowicz will be exercising the powers she decried just two years ago to make sure that only the points of view she favors will be heard.

This article by Robert Spencer originally appeared on JihadWatch.org and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.​
Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer is a guest author for NRN, the director of Jihad Watch, and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an.

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