Rightists have spent the last couple of days freaking out and invoking Orwell’s 1984 in response to something their political enemies are doing in America, and for once it’s for a pretty good reason. The Department of Homeland Security has secretly set up a “Disinformation Governance Board“, only informing the public about its plans for the institution after it had already been established.
The disinformation board, which critics have understandably been calling a “Ministry of Truth“, purportedly exists to fight disinformation coming out of Russia as well as misleading messages about the US-Mexico border. We may be certain that the emphasis in the board’s establishment has been on the Russia angle, however.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, in her patented “You’re such a crazy idiot for questioning me about the White House” manner, dismissed alarmed questions about what specific functions this strange new DHS entity was going to be performing and what its authority will look like.
“It sounds like the objective of the board is to prevent disinformation and misinformation from traveling around the country in a range of communities,” Psaki said. “I’m not sure who opposes that effort.”
The answer to the question of “who opposes that effort” is of course “anyone with functioning gray matter between their ears.” No government entity has any business appointing itself the authority to sort information from disinformation on behalf of the public, because government entities are not impartial and omniscient deities who can be entrusted to serve the public as objective arbiters of absolute reality. They would with absolute certainty wind up drawing distinctions between information, misinformation and disinformation in whatever way serves their interests, regardless of what’s true, exactly as any authoritarian regime would do.
Categories: State Repression