President Biden just announced the creation of the new “Board of Disinformation” which will be responsible for telling Americans what information is true and which is false in order to “protect” us from threats to our national security.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Connor: Hey, Brittany.
Brittany: Hi, Connor.
Connor: So I want to talk about a new development in the United States of America. We now have what many have not so affectionately called a Ministry of Truth, which I guess is a Harry Potter reference, right? Like.
Brittany: I think it’s 1984.
Connor: Is it not 1984? Is it? Oh, it’s probably 1984. You’re right. This shows my ignorance. I’m like, oh, I don’t know Harry Potter. I’m sure it’s a Harry Potter thing, but yeah, I think you’re right. It’s, George Orwell’s 1984, and how the government kind of officially decides what is truth and so, we’ve got this, the Department of Homeland Security in the United States of America has created a new position, a new office, a new department, if you will, that is going to oversee what they call disinformation. And so they’ve hired a woman named Nina Jankowicz to oversee, this work. And so, Brittnay, I’d love you to share, like, you know, a little bit about what’s happening with this and how we’ve gotten to this point where in the United States of America, the land of the free, free speech, all these things, we now have the government stepping in to tell us what disinformation is.
Brittany: Yeah, it’s terrifying. And this lady’s only, like when I say like 32, is if she’s young, I guess to our listeners, that is not young, but she’s relatively young for this kind of a position. I think she wrote a couple of books and one of ’em was on like cyberbullying. So she is part of the whole woke culture. So this, you know, the whole thing started because everybody’s scared about disinformation. And what disinformation means nowadays is anything you don’t agree with, if we’re being honest, if you don’t agree with something, if it doesn’t, you know, match the official narrative, then it’s disinformation. So, COVID, this is really funny to me, in the beginning of COVID, you know, masks were supposed to be dangerous or we weren’t supposed to use masks, I don’t remember. And then all of a sudden it was, if you didn’t wear masks, you’re a bad person. But then it’s like, okay, well then wasn’t that disinformation like in the beginning, right? Anything that, gosh, anything anybody says about COVID, look at the Joe Rogan thing because he had doctors on who had a differing view than Dr. Fauci. He was, you know, marked as disinformation. It’s actually funny if you are listening to Rogan’s podcast on Spotify, if he even mentions COVID once there’s a warning labeling on the episode name. Yeah. So it’s like this combating disinformation, but the origins of this new agency are really informal or, interesting because it was right after Elon Musk bought Twitter, or, his bid was accepted. Cause it’s not official yet, but, and everybody was scared, like, oh, if Elon Musk allows free speech on Twitter, people are gonna be allowed to share anything they want, even if it’s not real. And how are people gonna know if it’s disinformation and if it’s not disinformation? So it’s really creepy. And this crazy lady, she, if you haven’t had a chance, she’s crazy. She has a video where she parodies, so she, like, she takes a Mary Poppin song. If you guys have seen that movie and talks about disinformation, it’s so bad. But what’s funny about that is we talk about the nanny state, and she uses a musical about a nanny to talk about the nanny state. And I don’t even think she realized she was doing that, which is pretty funny. But she also, oh, sorry, were you saying.
Connor: I was just gonna add really quickly. When a lot of people started worrying about her hiring, her now taking over this position, her boss at the Department of Homeland Security, he was, you know, called before a congressional committee. And people are asking him questions and he said that this woman is quote-unquote eminently qualified for the position. That’s scary. And so what does that mean, like, to be in charge of saying, Hey, this claim is disinformation, or that claim is not like what makes someone eminently qualified to be in the position of decreeing what is correct information and what is so-called disinformation? Are there any college degrees you can get on this, that this woman has to make her eminently qualified? Does she have a particular license or a certification? Did she pass some exams? Does she have, you know, all kinds of like scientific research? No, she has none of that. In fact, what’s crazy about this, and the biggest problem I have with this Brittany that I’d want your reaction to, is that she is herself guilty of what she is claiming other people are guilty of. And here’s what I mean. So she’s now in the position of telling other people, oh, that thing you said that’s disinformation, basically, that’s wrong. You know, because I said so. But when people have gone through her social media and they have looked at her posts over the years, she herself is guilty of claiming things publicly that are totally wrong. So for example, during, you know, the Trump years, the Democrats on the left, and MSNBC, they were all focused on this idea that Trump was a puppet of Russia. It’s now called Russia Gate. You know, this idea that there was collusion, in other words, they, you know, they were working together and Putin and Russia were influencing Trump and controlling things. And there was this dossier, meaning this, this official doc ent that supposedly was evidence that Trump was being controlled by Russia. Well, all of it was completely untrue. It was just wrong. And yet she herself, this woman, Ms. Jankowicz was her self guilty of claiming publicly that, you know, Trump was being controlled by Russia. That this dossier was like she was claiming things were true, that was in fact totally false. And she’s done it before. There have been other instances when people dug up her social media where she was doing, the same thing. And so you look at that and you say, here’s this person who has now been given this authority to claim what is true and what is false. And she herself has not been accurate. When the story came out about Hunter Biden’s laptop, Hunter Biden is one of President Joe Biden’s sons. And there was this laptop that surfaced that had all this evidence in here of corruption in the Biden family. And everyone on the left, MSNBC and all these people were like, Nope, nope, it’s totally wrong. That’s not his laptop. That’s not right. And all the media was just, agreeing and saying, no, this isn’t true. This isn’t true. Well, Ms. Jankowicz herself at the time, was saying similar things. No, that’s not accurate. No. That’s disinformation. That, that’s Hunter Biden’s laptop. That’s, well, guess what? It’s true. It’s now been publicly admitted that was Hunter Biden’s laptop. That it does have, evidence of corruption, and the media still wants to ignore it and suppress it, but the admission is there. And so here is Ms. Jankowicz, the czar of, you know, information when she herself is guilty of promoting what I think I would call disinformation. In other words, completely false things that you’re claiming are true. And so how can she be eminently qualified to claim what is true and false when she herself has clearly repeatedly got it wrong? This is why, and I’ll end here. I think, and, and I think Rand Paul, Senator Rand Paul was saying something like this recently. He’s like, we can’t trust the government, anyone. There is no one that’s qualified to say what is true and false because the government and, and its employees, the people in the government have been the biggest purveyors, the biggest, proponents and creators of disinformation in the past. When you look at history, it’s the government that is putting out false things and claiming that they are true. And so how in the world can we now have the government claiming what we say is true and false when it’s the government that so often gets it wrong?
Brittany: It’s funny, I looked at her Wikipedia and it just says like, expert in disinformation. And again, like that’s, what does that mean? It’s so funny.
Connor: That itself is disinformation, right?
Brittany: What does that mean?
Connor: She’s a mean expert in disinformation.
Brittany: She, I don’t know if you saw the leaked video from a Zoom call that came out. it’ll be a couple of weeks ago. And our listeners hear it though, we should probably move this episode up cause this is very timely. But she wants to make a button on Twitter, or not a button, an editing feature where if you have a blue check mark, you can go in and edit people’s posts and put like, disclaimer, we don’t think this is true.
Connor: What does a blue check mark mean?
Brittany: So, a blue check mark means if you’re like a public figure, so you can like apply to get a blue check mark. So like an actress or an actor, they could have a blue check mark. You know, people like Joe Rogan will have a blue check mark, a public official’s gonna have a blue check mark.
Connor: I have a blue checkmark.
Brittany: Do you have a blue checkmark?
Connor: I do.
Brittany: So, there you go. Maybe you could edit. But she actually said in the video, it was very funny cuz she tries to brag. She’s like, she goes, I mean, I have a blue check mark, but, you know, and it was, it’s just so bad. But then she goes, obviously, some people have them who are not legit, which to me makes me worried that she’d even try to, like, the government might try to meddle with Twitter and say, yeah, no, we get to decide it was blue check marks. And I could see them doing that more now that Elon Musk is gonna take control hopefully of it, that they would even meddle and say like, well no, actually because of disinformation and let’s talk about what this exists for. And then, Connor I’d love for you to tie it into like scary dystopian books and stories that we know. But they’re saying that this is because we need to protect national security. That’s why it’s under the Department of Homeland Security, that if we say things about Russia, that it could make us vulnerable or things that are, you know, not real, this disinformation, but nobody really knows how it’s gonna be used yet. And that’s what’s scary about it. Cuz they’ve been very vague, meaning they haven’t exactly said what this means or what they’re gonna do. They’re just all tying it back to national security, which is what happened during nine 11. So it’s very scary.
Connor: It is scary. But I think, excuse me, I think that the government wants us to be scared. They like when we are fearful because we are more easily controlled. For the parents, I wrote a book, a few years back called Feardom, and we’ve talked about this in the past, and it’s all about how the government wants us to be afraid because they can more easily control us when we’re scared. Why? Because people say, oh, I don’t know how to be safe. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what’s right. Government help me. You’re, you’re an authority figure, right? I’ll trust you. Surely you should know cuz you have access to information and the like. And so people kind of defer and trust authority. And the government abuses that trust over and over and over again. They know that we are more likely to trust them when we’re scared. And this I think is the basis for some of these dystopian stories that you mentioned we should talk about. I mean, certainly 1984 we started there a fantastic book that any I think, teenager and certainly adults should read, where George Orwell decades ago was writing about this dystopian future where, the government was basically controlling everything and not just controlling people, but controlling their thoughts, basically claiming that true was false and falses was true, right? And, you know, war is peace. And all these things like basically trying to sow destroy people’s minds by getting them to actually believe the opposite of what reality was. And of course, it’s fiction and of course, you know, some of these things are not gonna happen or can’t happen or whatever, but it is a clear warning book that decades later you see a lot of echoes of in our own day, you know, the, exactly this department where the government is now gonna claim what is, you know, true and false, what is disinformation and not that is like the Ministry of truth in 1984 where the government took it upon itself to determine what was correct and what was not correct. And everyone had to only believe the correct thing. We see this today in, regimes like in North Korea, right? They are just saturated with propaganda. And you hear some of these stories of people coming out of North Korea and they talk about how in the schools, and through the media and the government, like there was only one way to think. And it was the way everyone had to think was the government’s official view. Of course, you know, certainly communist China, we see this too. I think we see it in America as well, sadly. And so some of this dystopian fiction is not completely, unreal and fictional. And there’s many other stories. I mean, I said Harry Potter because though I’m not an expert, I know that there’s, elements of this in the Harry Potter story as well, but I think of, like V for Vendetta, which is a film that I think only the adults should watch.
Brittany: And a book, but not.
Connor: It’s a book? I had no idea.
Brittany: It’s a graphic novel. I have it sitting here right now. Yeah. So it’s like a comic book but for adults.
Connor: Okay, interesting. So.
Brittany: You didn’t know that I’m surprised by that comic.
Connor: Yeah, no, I’ll have to pick it up. I didn’t know that. So, yeah, V for vendetta, like similarly the government, in this story, they’re in England, and they’ve grown so authoritative that they basically also have this official narrative. And the Supreme Chancellor is the one who is kind of dictating how everyone must think and banning and, you know, harming and even killing those who are trying to, promote different messages. What’s really interesting, and I think we’ve talked about ’em in the past, Brittany, so I’ll have to dig up the episode if that’s true, but I’m reminded of the story of Helmuth Hübener. Who was the youngest person to be, executed by the Nazis. He was 14 years old. And, what he did is he was very curious about what was happening. And so he got him, I think it was, his uncle’s, or his grandfather’s radio and was able to pick up long-range transmissions from England, through the BBC, which is the radio station. And so this is where the allies in the West, they were broadcasting what they thought was the truth. you know, their perspective of the war, to try and get those radio waves into Germany and some of the other countries. And so Helmuth, though growing up in Germany, he felt that they were being lied to and that the Nazi government with all its propaganda was lying to the people. And so Helmuth started listening to the kind of English radio and learning about what was really happening in the war, not what Hitler and his propagandist, allies were saying, well, why was that such a big deal? It’s because that was illegal. The Nazis had banned people from listening to, you know, outside, sources like this because they wanted to control thought. And so Helmuth, of course, he took it one step further. It wasn’t just listening for himself, courageously, he took action and he started writing down when he was learning, he wrote these little pamphlets and started distributing them and, you know, ultimately got caught. And then he was executed. But it shows the degree to which the government is willing to go to control a narrative, To bend the truth. And it’s not just in dystopian fiction, it’s in our world today. And it can take various forms. It can be something like, you know, Nazi Germany or it can be in the United States of America with a disinformation ministry of truth with Ms. Jankowicz, having the audacity to claim that she knows what is true and what is false when she herself has, you know, repeatedly been wrong. This is the weird world we’re in, where, you know, certainly it’s happened before with a lot of propaganda. It’s happening now in other countries, it’s happening in America. I think that’s all the more reason we need to be very intentional about which sources that we are relying upon to tell us the way the world works and what’s happening in the world. Because a lot of people wanna lie to us for their own purposes. And so it’s critical that we be critical thinkers and that we be very skeptical about what people are telling us, and we really figure out who we can trust, what reporters are good, to make sure that we can find the truth. So a lot of work, to do you guys. How much story I think is inspiring. Beware, the Ministry of Truth and Ms. Jankowicz. So it would be very interesting to see in the months ahead what happens. I’m kind of hopeful that, when Republicans take over again, they just shut this thing down altogether. But, you know, the nature of government is to grow. So who knows? I’m sure the Republicans will find their own reason to keep the department alive. So, let’s be watchful, let’s be mindful. And thanks for listening, Brittany. Thanks as always. And until next time guys, we’ll talk to you later.
Brittany: Talk to you later.