April 6 through April 8, 2022, the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics and The Atlantic magazine cohosted a conference titled “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy.”1
The three-day event explored “the organized spread of disinformation and strategies to respond to it.” Speakers included former President Barack Obama, columnist Jonah Goldberg, Marxist history expert Anne Elizabeth Applebaum and CNN anchor Brian Stelter, just to name a few.
But, as noted by Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson (video above), what they didn’t count on was the fact that not everyone has been brainwashed into oblivion. Some college students still have mental faculties operating at full speed. During one Q & A session, UC freshman Christopher Phillips, a writer for the University of Chicago’s paper, the Chicago Thinker,2 asked the following question:
“You’ve all spoken extensively about Fox News being a purveyor of disinformation, but CNN is right up there with them. They pushed the Russian collusion hoax, they pushed the Jussie Smollett hoax, they smeared Justice Kavanagh as a rapist, and they also smeared Nick Sandman as a white supremacist.
And yes, they dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop as pure Russian disinformation. The mistakes of the mainstream media, and CNN in particular, seem to magically all go in one direction. Are we expected to believe that this is all just some sort of random coincidence, or is there something else behind it?”
CNN — An Unrepentant Chronic Offender
Stelter responded, “I think you’re describing a different channel than the one that I watch. But I understand that that is a popular right-wing narrative about CNN.” So, first, he rejected the premise of the question in the first place, and then he discredited Phillips for asking the question.
April 8, 2022, Phillips appeared on Carlson’s show to discuss what prompted him to confront these self-proclaimed experts on disinformation. He pointed out that the conference was filled with legacy media personalities who have spent their entire careers spreading disinformation, and now they’re supposed to teach us about and protect us from disinformation?
Phillips said that while he didn’t expect Stelter to “hand over the keys” to CNN and admit they’re corrupt, he was hoping he’d admit that mistakes had been made and corrections had been issued. Alas, none of that happened. There was no remorse. No apology. No retractions.
Instead, Stelter gave a rambling non-answer defense that made little sense to anyone, basically proving CNN has no intention to live up to journalistic standards and expectations. Applebaum’s response to a question about the Hunter Biden laptop was perhaps even worse (below).
All Warfare Is Based on Deception
At this point, it should be clear to everyone that we are at war, albeit undeclared, and as noted by Sun Tzu in “The Art of War,” all warfare is based on deception. This is why we’re constantly being bombarded with the idea that truth tellers are lying, and that liars are telling the truth.
We’re living in an inverted reality, where up is down and left is right. Deception is the hallmark of the day, and the reason we’re bombarded with deception is because this is an information war. Instead of firing missiles at our heads, the attackers are firing missives into our brains.
But the end goal is the same as in any other war. The attacker always attacks with the intent of gaining something, and in this case, the technocratic transhumanist cabal hell-bent on world domination is intent on us surrendering to their ambitions.
Biden Administration’s Ministry of Truth
In late April 2022, we discovered that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had quietly, behind the scenes, created a Disinformation Governance Board.3,4 The backlash was immediate. The Orwellian connotations were just so blatant, few were able to dismiss them.
The woman chosen to lead this Ministry of Truth was Nina Jankowicz,5 a “Russian disinformation expert” best known for tweeting out now well-recognized lies and singing made-up show tunes about disinformation and erotic Harry Potter songs6 on TikTok.
In one instance, she claimed the Hunger Biden laptop story was “a Trump campaign product,”7 even though there’s not a shred of evidence to back up that claim. In another, she brushed it off as a “fairytale,”8 even though there’s plenty of evidence confirming its authenticity.
Jankowicz has also publicly opposed the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, saying free speech is bad for “marginalized communities.” Yet in the next breath, she insisted that “protecting free speech, privacy, civil rights and civil liberties” would be “a HUGE focus” of the new disinformation board.9
How can you protect free speech and simultaneously combat it? It doesn’t make sense, but then again, it’s not intended to make sense. People are more suggestible when confused, and irreconcilable double-speak is definitely confusing.
‘Anti-Disinformation Expert’ = Propagandist
Independent journalist Glen Greenwald highlighted Jankowicz’s obvious lack of real credentials in a May 4, 2022, Substack article, noting that:10
“The concept of ‘anti-disinformation expert’ is itself completely fraudulent. This is not a real expertise but rather a concocted title bestowed on propagandists to make them appear more scholarly and apolitical than they are …
There is no conceivable circumstance in which a domestic law enforcement agency like DHS should be claiming the power to decree truth and falsity … The purpose of Homeland Security agents is to propagandize and deceive, not enlighten and inform.
The level of historical ignorance and stupidity required to believe that U.S. Security State operatives are earnestly devoted to exposing and decreeing truth is off the charts … That nobody should want the U.S. Government let alone Homeland Security arrogating unto itself the power to declare truth and falsity seems self-evident.”
Ministry of Truth Hits a Roadblock
Fortunately, the public mockery turned out to be too great to bear, so the Ministry of Truth has, for the time being, been put on hold,11 and Jankowicz has resigned. According to a DHS spokesperson:12
“The Board’s purpose has been grossly and intentionally mischaracterized: it was never about censorship or policing speech in any manner … As its executive director, Nina Jankowicz was subjected to unjustified and vile personal attacks and physical threats …”
Threats against Jankowicz aside, the Board’s purpose was hardly mischaracterized, and clearly about censorship and policing speech on behalf of the government, in clear violation of the Constitution. The very title of the board clearly informs us that it was about the governance of disinformation.
“Governance” is defined as “the act or process of governing or overseeing the control and direction of something.” Synonyms include “authority, jurisdiction, regime” and “rule.”13 So, “Disinformation Governance” clearly means the board was intended to have the jurisdiction to rule over information deemed to be false.
Jankowicz has even asserted that “trustworthy, verified people,” such as herself, should have the authority to edit other people’s tweets and social media posts!14 “Verified people can essentially start to edit Twitter the same sort of way that Wikipedia is, so they can add context to certain tweets,” she said. How is that not censorship? How is that not policing speech?
Properly defining words and using them correctly have never been more important, because in many respects, the very sanity of our society hinges on it. Every day, it seems, the enemy is trying to redefine or muddle the definition of words that have very clear and specific meanings, because without clear definitions, we cannot have a rational conversation, and without rational conversation, they win.
A 1981 quote widely attributed to former CIA director William Casey that seems well worth reiterating here was, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”15
While some doubt Casey ever said this, Barbara Honegger, who at the time was the assistant to the chief domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan, has publicly confirmed she was present when he said it. According to Honegger, Reagan asked Casey what his goal was as director of the CIA, and that was his reply.
While the CIA, in 1981, was neck deep in a plot to overthrow the government in Libya, that same year, an investigative reporter named Jack Anderson also revealed the CIA was waging a disinformation war against the American public. According to Anderson, Casey argued for the government’s “right to mislead the public by planting phony stories in the press.” But as Thomas Jefferson noted, “the people’s right to know is more important than the officials’ right to govern.”
Casey was supposedly a patriot who saw lying as a means to gain the public’s support for political, economic and military measures. One could argue that little harm was done to the American public in the process, aside from breeding ignorance about geopolitical truths. The lies we’re being fed today, however, are in some cases a threat to life, and they’re most definitely a direct threat to liberty.
Liberal Obsession With Disinformation Is Backfiring
In a May 20, 2022 Intelligencer article, Sam Adler-Bell notes:16
“According to [Washington Post’s Taylor] Lorenz and her sources … Jankowicz was taken down ‘by the very forces she dedicated her career to combating’ … In other words, the Disinformation Governance Board was undone by a ‘textbook disinformation campaign.’
This version of the story is richly ironic and tragic … [F]rom another perspective, the right’s campaign against the Disinformation Board resembled any other successful advocacy effort to halt a government initiative …
I don’t see how a fully operational Disinformation Governance Board could have prevented this outcome — except via the very means conservatives (mistakenly?) feared it would possess.
If, as Lorenz is careful to note, ‘neither the board nor Jankowicz had any power or ability to declare what is true or false, or compel Internet providers, social media platforms or public schools to take action against certain types of speech,’ then how would it have prevented right-wingers from tweeting terrible, dishonest things about Jankowicz? …
[T]he other pernicious problem with liberals’ fixation on ‘disinformation’ is that it allows them to lie to themselves. Trump’s ascendance in 2016 posed a painful psychic challenge to liberal elites.
It suggested the possibility that many millions of Americans were motivated by deep, venomous dissatisfactions with the world they had helped create, that our cultural disagreements were profound, not superficial, and that our perspectives were practically irreconcilable inversions of each other …
‘Disinformation’ was the liberal Establishment’s traumatic reaction to the psychic wound of 2016. It provided an answer that evaded the question altogether, protecting them from the agony of self-reflection …
Like other pathological reactions to trauma, the disinformation neurosis tended to re-create the conditions that produced the affliction in the first place.”
Bell goes on to discuss the University of Chicago’s Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy conference, noting that “gathering the leading lights of liberalism to an auditorium at the University of Chicago — so that they together can decide which information is true and safe to be consumed by the rabble outside — strikes me as a hollow exercise in self-soothing, more likely to aggravate the symptoms of our legitimacy crisis (distrust and cynicism) than resolve any of its impasses.”
Indeed, Stelter’s response to Phillips’ question about CNN’s disinformation record does nothing to improve trust in the mainstream media. What’s more, I believe most people instinctively sense that there’s something really fishy about the mis- and disinformation mania. As noted by Joseph Bernstein in his September 2021 article,17 “Bad News: Selling the Story of Disinformation”:
“A quick scan of the institutions that publish most frequently and influentially about disinformation: Harvard University, the New York Times, Stanford University, MIT, NBC, the Atlantic Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, etc.
That the most prestigious liberal institutions of the pre-digital age are the most invested in fighting disinformation reveals a lot about what they stand to lose, or hope to regain … However well-intentioned these professionals are, they don’t have special access to the fabric of reality.”
I think that explains why people instinctively don’t trust those who resort to screaming about “disinformation” at every turn. Universally, people understand that no one person, and certainly no government agency, has unfettered “special access to the fabric of reality,” as Bernstein puts it.
The Privatization of Censorship
Government officials realize that while they long for total information control, censorship is a bad look. This, I believe, is why the Biden administration pulled the plug on the Ministry of Truth. It wasn’t that the Disinformation Governance Board was being mischaracterized and unjustly opposed.
It was that too many people understood that the board was about unconstitutional government-sanctioned censorship. That widespread understanding has brought bad PR on top of already record-low popularity. That doesn’t mean the censorship effort won’t continue, however. So far, they’ve been exceptionally effective at outsourcing the censorship to private companies. Taking direct ownership of it with a government-run board was simply too big a step at this time.
So, without doubt, we can expect Facebook, Twitter and the rest to continue censoring on government’s behalf, until or unless the U.S. judicial branch proves it’s not entirely corrupt and does something about it. For the time being, we may have to look to other venues for that kind of justice.
Fact Checker on the Run
According to independent journalist Paul Thacker,18 Emmanuel Vincent, president of Science Feedback, a Facebook fact checking service, has been ordered to appear in court to answer for it’s deceptive fact check claims, and is now on the run.
In one so-called “fact check,” Science Feedback slapped a misinformation label on an essay by Johns Hopkins physician-researcher Marty Makary, in which he predicted that COVID-19 herd immunity was imminent. As noted by Thacker:19
“Here’s the thing, you don’t need a Ph.D. in epidemiology to understand that when experts analyze studies and make predictions they might be wrong. Duh. Predictions are opinions, not facts.
And while there’s nothing wrong with Science Feedback posting a contrary prediction, labeling their own opinion a ‘fact’ just proves they fail at logic.
This inability to grasp the difference between opinion and fact has made Science Feedback the butt of online scorn, but what landed Vincent in a police station and sent him fleeing from justice … is colluding with Facebook and the federal government to deny people their First Amendment rights.
All while pretending to be an ‘independent fact check’ … [T]he charge alone has sent Vincent running from address to address, all over Paris.”
Vincent apparently has been served multiple times, but has refused to sign for any of the documents, claiming it’s really a company called SciVerify, a Science Feedback subsidiary, that works in partnership with Facebook, not Science Feedback itself. What is he hiding from?
In short, he’s desperately trying to “avoid public accountability before a judicial system that is not (yet) rigged by Facebook,” Thacker writes. We now know Facebook and its outsourced fact checkers are colluding behind the scenes to censor on behalf of the government,20 and that is blatantly unlawful.
The Erosion of Democracy Is Real
Getting back to where we started, with the University of Chicago disinformation conference, one of the biggest revelations from it was that the mainstream media is so beholden to Washington Democrats, they’re incapable of reporting the news.
The Atlantic editor-in-chief even accused Phillips and other student reporters who asked probing questions of waging a “disinformation campaign” at the conference!21 That’s how vulnerable they are, and how one-note their defense. They really have no defense when faced with truth, so they yell “Disinformation!” As reported by American Thinker:22
“It is important to understand that when liberals use words such as bias, partisanship, disinformation, distortions, and spin, they are exclusively directed at right-leaning media.
Prominent members of conservative media such as Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson and the late Rush Limbaugh have adjectives such as ‘right-wing’ … prefixed to their names. They are even called propagandists. However, the likes of Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper are called journalists; no adjectives are applied.
Fox News will be called a right-wing news network, whereas MSNBC or CNN is merely called a news outlet. For anybody who wishes to study liberal echo chambers, the Disinformation Conference is the ideal forum.
There was not even a pretense to conceal biases … The views expressed are not similar, but identical. Their sanctimony has caused such levels of delusions that they think of themselves as the sole custodians of facts, truths, and taste …
The forum and the utterances from Stelter and Applebaum prove what conservatives have known for a long [time]: the mainstream media are the propaganda wing of the Democrat party.
There are adept wordsmiths and disinformation strategists within the Democrat leadership who provides the media with buzzwords and talking points for the day which they meticulously follow. This explains why they have identical views and use identical words …
The Disinformation Conference demonstrates that there never will be any course correction simply because the propagandists do not think they have erred in any way. This truly is an erosion of democracy.”