In April, the Biden administration raised eyebrows with the rollout of a new Department of Homeland Security division aimed to combat disinformation, which critics compared to George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth.” The so-called “Disinformation Governance Board” was then halted in May following intense backlash. Jankowicz also resigned and left DHS.
Jankowicz herself faced intense scrutiny. In addition to going viral for her widely-panned “Mary Poppins” parody, the Biden administration’s truth czar had a history of peddling misinformation.
During the 2020 presidential election, Jankowicz declared the Hunter Biden laptop in the New York Post’s reporting was a “Trump campaign product” and echoed the former intelligence officials who believed without evidence that the laptop was a Russian operation. She elevated the Trump-Russia collusion narrative during the 2016 election and the Trump presidency, and she also helped legitimize the discredited Steele dossier.
Additionally, Jankowicz cast doubt on the Wuhan lab leak theory and suggested the Trump administration was leveraging it as a scapegoat.
However, The Times alleged Jankowicz was “targeted online by false or misleading information about her role” and refrained to delve into what her critics had actually said, including the misinformation she pushed.
“It’s hard to imagine how we get back from this… when this is how our elected representatives are behaving — when we can’t agree on, you know, what is the truth,” Jankowicz said.
The Times alleged “according to experts,” the “failure to act… has left openings for new waves of disinformation ahead of November’s midterm elections” as well as violence like the Buffalo supermarket mass shooting, where the gunman believed in the racial “replacement” conspiracy theory against White people.
“I think we’re in a really bleak situation here in this country,” Jankowicz told The Times.
The Times reported the “partisan divide” over how to combat misinformation “began in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election of President Donald J. Trump, which he and his allies repeatedly denounced as fake despite evidence compiled by federal investigators about Russian complicity.” Trump and his supports have actually denounced claims of collusion between his campaign and Russia as “fake” rather than general claims of election interference by the Kremlin.
“The board quickly became a new foil in an old Republican campaign narrative that overbearing Democrats want to intrude deeper and deeper into people’s personal beliefs — ‘canceling’ conservative values. Ms. Jankowicz’s prominence in the discussion of Russia’s actions made her a particular target for the Republicans,” The Times wrote.
Jankowicz told The Times, “The right recognizes it is a way to whip up people in a furor… The problem is there are very real national security issues here, and not being able to talk about this in a mature way is a real disservice to the country.”
“It’s borderline comical that The New York Times wants us to not only feel bad for Nina Jankowicz, but take her seriously as an authoritative voice on what’s factual,” NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck told Fox News. “The piece refers to ‘false or misleading’ attacks on Jankowicz, but it never cared to explain why they were false or even what the criticisms were.
“The name of the board itself was Orwellian and the fact that The Times wouldn’t critically acknowledge that shows the thickness of their egos.”
Neither the New York Times nor Jankowicz immediately responded to Fox News’ requests for comment.
The New York Times is the latest media outlet that failed to press Jankowicz on the various falsehoods she peddled before taking on the leadership role in the disinformation board.
Following the DHS putting the board on “pause,” Jankowicz was interviewed by MSNBC, CNN, CBS and NPR, none of which pressed her on why she faced such backlash.
Similarly, the Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz, who broke the story about the board’s “pause,” not only failed to acknowledge Jankowicz’s checkered past, she even referred to Jankowicz as the “victim” of “coordinated online attacks.”