MSNBC opinion writer claims Biden administration bowed to ‘right-wing pressure’ on misinformation board

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ReidOut blog writer Ja’han Jones on Tuesday lamented “Republican hysteria” for being the “poison pill” that sank the Biden administration’s Disinformation Governance Council, rendering “the country … worse as a result”.

After Monday’s announcement that a Department of Homeland Security advisory board recommended removing the disinformation board, in what Jones called “an equally tragic and ironic turn of events,” the writer blamed ” baseless allegations of political targeting” for the council’s demise.

Jones claimed it was “obvious” that the administration “just gave in to right-wing pressure” to overturn the misinformation board and said, “The fact that Republicans have been so successful in using misinformation to canceling the Disinformation Governance Council is in itself an argument for its necessity.”


An image of Nina Jankowicz from Twitter and a hand scrolling through ‘fake news’
(Arkadiusz Wargula/iStock)

Jones seemed to suggest that the Republican Party had nefarious reasons for wanting to shut down the council altogether:

“In April, the Biden administration announced it was forming the Disinformation Governance Council to combat immigration-related disinformation that contributes to the U.S.-Mexico border crisis, as well as disinformation from foreign adversaries like the Russia funneling to the Americans.The agency was to be headed by Russian disinformation expert Nina Jankowicz.But Republicans — members of a party that has shown an affinity for disinformation and the Russian government in recent years — pushed back. the idea.”

Jankowicz, who resigned from the Biden administration when the DHS shelved the disinformation board in May, has a history of peddling disinformation, particularly regarding Russia. In the fall of 2020, she said the Hunter Biden laptop in the New York Post report was a “product of the Trump campaign” and echoed former intelligence officials who believed without evidence that the laptop was a Russian operation. She elevated the narrative of Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 election and the Trump presidency, and she also helped legitimize Steele’s discredited record.


WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before a House Appropriations Subcommittee on April 27, 2022 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 27: US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before a House Appropriations Subcommittee on April 27, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Jones further claimed that it was the “right-wingers” who “falsely decried the council as an Orwellian assault on free speech”, although civil liberties concerns were raised from all political walks of life.

“It is truly no mystery why the GOP opposes efforts to curb the spread of disinformation,” he wrote, while castigating “treasonous” Republicans and claiming, “The agenda party is established by fascist conservatives who rely on outright lies to stoke their base. ”

In a wistful conclusion, Jones gave a grim assessment that “the Disinformation Governance Council would not have been the only tool we have to fight disinformation. But it’s worth noting that the council appears to have been consumed by the very beast he was designed to fight.”

Nina Jankowicz complained about Disinfo Board's 'pause' earlier in 2022.

Nina Jankowicz complained about Disinfo Board’s ‘pause’ earlier in 2022.


Jones has a habit of condemning Republicans in explosive terms. In late June, he suggested that “young Republican Senator from Missouri, Josh Hawley, hopes Republicans will use right-wing laws — like banning abortion — to terrorize political opponents and amass more power.” The article was part of a notable trend of liberal commentators on multiple platforms using extreme rhetoric after the Supreme Court abortion ruling.

Joseph A. Wulfsohn of Fox News contributed to this report.