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Douglas Andrews / May 19, 2022

Scary Mary Gets the Gate

To no one’s surprise except perhaps her own, erstwhile Disinformation Czar Nina Jankowicz is out of a job.

Ya hate to see it. Hate to see the career of such a natural-born disinformationist come to such an ignominious end. Hate to see her get the ol’ Vaudeville hook so soon into her routine.

Here we are, though, and with one less ditzy diva to kick around. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board reports: “Quick as she came, the Mary Poppins of Disinformation unfurled her umbrella and floated away to her next job, nannying another nation of children who had the wrong ideas. Nina Jankowicz, age 33, was supposed to lead the Department of Homeland Security’s new Disinformation Governance Board. Only three weeks after that announcement, media reports say the board is being ‘paused’ and Ms. Jankowicz has resigned.”

Indeed, how the flighty have fallen. Jankowicz, after all, was a full-blown “Disinformation Fellow” — which we can only assume is someone who thinks she’s infinitely smarter than we are and yet still somehow believes that the Steele dossier is real and Hunter Biden’s laptop is fake. In any case, cooler heads in DC must’ve ultimately asked themselves: Is this really the person we want checking our work?

Far be it from us to gloat, but we saw this defenestration coming two weeks ago. And yet despite this disaster, Team Brandon hopes to revive its Ministry of Truth in some less noticeable fashion. As The Washington Times reports: “The department assigned two former senior government officials to lead a review of the department’s work on disinformation. The report is due in 75 days. Until then, ‘the board will not convene and its work will be paused,’ the department said.”

Paused.

Jankowicz, though, must’ve thought she could ride it out. “All these sensationalist narratives about … what people thought the board was going to do are completely wrong,” she proclaimed as the wind gust lifted her umbrella upwards, adding, “So every characterization of the board that you’ve heard up until now has been incorrect, and frankly, it’s kind of ironic that the board itself was taken over by disinformation when it was meant to fight it.”

Wethinks the diva doth protest too much. And yet she kepteth on protesting: “I have prided myself over my career of being a really nuanced, reasonable person. Again, as I said, I’ve briefed and advised both Republicans and Democrats. I admire some of the steps that the Trump administration even took to combat disinformation. … So to say that I’m just a partisan actor was wildly out of context.”

Yep, when we think of Scary Poppins, we think: “a really nuanced, reasonable person.”

And speaking of really nuanced, reasonable people, Taylor “The Doxxer” Lorenz at the Big-Tech-billionaire-owned Washington Post couldn’t help but blame it on the Republicans. “How the Biden administration let right-wing attacks derail its disinformation efforts,” screeched the headline of her piece, which went on to claim that Janky “was the victim of coordinated online attacks as the administration struggled to respond.”

Lorenz’s lament continued, wherein she accused the Right of using leftist Alinskyite tactics: “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.”

Translation: We right-wingers “pounced.” Because that’s what we do.

When a Democrat appointee crashes and burns, it’s customary for the media to blame those “coordinated” Republican “attacks” for the downfall. But all this could’ve and should’ve been avoided. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote at the time of Jankowicz’s appointment, “Surely, no one in this age of polarization and public mistrust of institutions would think it’s wise to set up a government shop with the job of telling Americans what is true.”

And that’s really the start and the finish of this sorry saga.


UPDATE: The two “former senior government officials” leading that departmental disinformation review are likely wasting their time. Montana Senator Steve Daines and 17 other Republicans say they’ll oppose any bill that includes funding for the heretofore “paused” board.

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