Today is offering a surfeit of feel-good news, but this one came in too late for the pervious post. The Washington Post is just up with the breaking story that the Biden Administration has decided to “pause” (but almost certainly shut down) the mis-named “Disinformation Governance Board”:
Just three weeks after its announcement, the Disinformation Governance Board is being “paused,” according to multiple employees at DHS, capping a back-and-forth week of decisions that changed during the course of reporting of this story. On Monday, DHS decided to shut down the board, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation. By Tuesday morning, Jankowicz had drafted a resignation letter in response to the board’s dissolution.
But Tuesday night, Jankowicz was pulled into an urgent call with DHS officials who gave her the choice to stay on, even as the department’s work was put on hold because of the backlash it faced, according to multiple people with knowledge of the call. Working groups within DHS focused on mis-, dis- and mal-information have been suspended. The board could still be shut down pending a review from the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Jankowicz is evaluating her position within the department.
Do notice, however, the way the Post frames the matter in their headline up right now:
Another case where the story isn’t Democrats screwing up with an epic bad idea, but the right wing “pouncing” on the mistake. This paragraph is especially delicious:
Jankowicz’s experience is a prime example of how the right-wing Internet apparatus operates, where far-right influencers attempt to identify a target, present a narrative and then repeat mischaracterizations across social media and websites with the aim of discrediting and attacking anyone who seeks to challenge them. It also shows what happens when institutions, when confronted with these attacks, don’t respond effectively.
And “experts”—the mainstream media’s favorite sources for their ventriloquist journalism—show up for duty:
Experts say that right-wing disinformation and smear campaigns regularly follow the same playbook and that it’s crucial that the public and leaders of institutions, especially in the government, the media and educational bodies, understand more fully how these cycles operate.