🇺🇸 Disinfo Deep Dive
May 5, 2022

Good morning, and happy Thursday! We salute this sanitation worker from Utah, who refused to stand by as his nation’s flag was disrespected.

Plus, smoking grass is cool in Las Vegas, but not doing this with it…

Also, it’s not too late to buy mom this awesome cap for Mother’s Day.

Flag Polls


ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 5/4: Biden Job Approval, Economist YouGov Approve 46,
Disapprove 50
ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 5/4: Direction of Country, Economist YouGov Right Track 27,
Wrong Track 62
D 5/4: Gen. Congress Vote, Economist YouGov Republicans 47,
Democrats 53

Trending On The Left


Washington Post: Trump and Biden prevail as party leaders in Ohio primary results

Vox: A landmarks study reveals the dire health consequences of denying abortions, explained

Huff Post: I'm An Abortion Nurse. These Stories Might Shock You, But They're All Too Real.

Trending On The Right


Fox: Hunter Biden laptop repairman sues Congressman Adam Schiff, CNN, Politico, Daily Beast

Washington Examiner: Democrats claim political lifeline in wake of Supreme Court abortion leak

The Federalist: The Constitutional Crisis That Roe v. Wade Set In Motion Is Now Upon Us

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QUICK CLICKS

Fed Says Recession Is Avoidable, Biden Bashes MAGA, Weed Bill Buzz


US: Dow rallies 900 points as investors bet the Fed can slow inflation without causing a recession (CNBC)

US: Biden says MAGA ‘most extreme’ group in recent US history, warns gays may face segregation (NY Post)

US: Momentum builds in Senate for major cannabis bill (The Hill)

US: Donald Trump Jr. met with the House January 6 committee on Tuesday (CNN)

US: Blinken tests positive for COVID, latest Biden Cabinet official to contract virus (Fox News)

US: Covid's toll in U.S. reaches 1 million deaths, a once unfathomable number (NBC)

US: What J.D. Vance's Ohio primary victory means (The Week)

World: Oil jumps $5 a barrel as EU nears ban on Russian oil (Reuters)

World: Why Turkey Could Become The Next Haven For Russian Oligarchs Fleeing Sanctions (Forbes)

US: Police arrest suspect in onstage attack of Dave Chappelle; rep calls incident 'unsettling' (USA Today)

US: Amber Heard Takes the Stand in Johnny Depp Trial: 'This Is Horrible for Me' (People)

POLITICS

Disinfo Deep Dive

The DHS says it will create a “Disinformation Governance Board,” ostensibly to crackdown on the spread of false propaganda online. Department of Homeland Security officials specifically cited the need to pushback on disinformation coming from Russia and human smugglers.

News Coverage from the Right: White House 'disinformation czar' Nina Jankowicz makes TikTok account private (Fox News)

News Coverage from the Left: GOP criticizing head of disinformation board over social media posts (CNN)

From the Flag: Here’s more from both sides on the concept of disinformation, free speech, and the woman set to run the agency, author Nina Jankowicz.

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

There Is Plenty of Disinformation, but This Isn’t Likely To Stop It


  • The DGB has a scary sounding name, but it’s rooted in good intentions, and the DHS should be overly transparent as to its motives and goals.
  • While conservatives call this an Orwellian move, in truth the DHS is so inept this effort won’t be well organized or have any teeth.
  • It’s no surprise right-leaning pundits and politicians are outraged about efforts to combat disinformation, because that’s what their platform is built on.

“Ignore the hysteria over the Disinformation Governance Board” Editorial Board, Washington Post: “Despite what some in the Republican congressional leadership might tell you, the Department of Homeland Security is not starting up a ‘Ministry of Truth.’ But the agency should be as transparent as possible … The Disinformation Governance Board, (whose acronym is the Soviet-sounding DGB) is supposed to aid coordination among DHS offices as they counter viral lies and propaganda that pose a threat to domestic security. Done right, this is a useful function. … What the board is not tasked to do is to establish what is true and what is false, or to push … a tougher line on expression in general. Indeed, the board has no operational authority at all. … The most effective way of reassuring the public about the DGB is to continue to share more about the DGB. And, perhaps, to choose a better name.”

“Biden’s Hopeless Disinformation Police” Jack Shafer, POLITICO Opinion: “The idea that the Biden administration would pulp the First Amendment and institute an authoritarian regime through its agents at DHS is immediately dismissible if only because it is one of the most ineffectual departments in the president’s Cabinet. Had Biden given the task to Agriculture or Commerce or another department with a better GPA in governing, we should be afraid. But DHS couldn’t stamp out disinformation or erect an American Reich if we reallocated to it all of the arms we’re currently shipping to Ukraine. It’s peopled by a confederacy of dunces and botch-artists, incapable of carrying out its current mission. For instance, DHS shrugged off the Jan. 6 warning signs, according to a Government Accountability Office report. It failed to share intelligence about the wave of Haitian immigrants who breached the border in 2021. ... But never mind DHS. … who thinks the government is capable of telling the truth?”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Homeland Security’s New Disinformation Board Is a Bad Idea, Just Not for the Reason Tucker Carlson Says It Is Alex Shephard, The New Republic

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

One Good Thing About Jankowicz: She’s Definitely A Disinformation Expert


  • The problem with tasking individuals to identify “disinformation” is that people have their own inherent biases, and bureaucrats at the DGB will be incentivized to find perceived threats.
  • Creating a “disinformation” board is so ridiculous it at first sounded like a joke, but the scary reality is the woman running it is a known peddler of fake news.
  • This is the latest sign of progressives and Democrats aggressively pushing into the far-left.

“Biden Establishes a Ministry of Truth” Roger Koppl and Abigail Devereaux, Wall Street Journal Op-ed: “The stated goal of combating mis- and disinformation is framed to seem unobjectionable. Who objects to truth and pines for falsehood? … But there’s one small problem with empowering ‘truth experts’: Experts are people. By creating the DGB, the US government is creating a crisis monitor with the dial permanently set to ‘existential threat.’ No one inside the board will have the incentive—or the courage—to dial it down. … The dangers of the DGB will be amplified if it becomes the tool of partisan political actors. And it already has. Executive director Nina Jankowicz, who once described Hunter Biden’s laptop as ‘a Trump campaign product,’ … has said: ‘Unless we mitigate our own political polarization, our own internal issues, we will continue to be an easy target for any malign actor—Russian or Iranian, foreign or domestic—to manipulate.’ … Incorrect political opinions become a national-security threat. The DGB already looks frighteningly similar to the KGB.”

“The Nurse Ratched of Disinformation” Editorial Board, Washington Free Beacon: “When we first heard Alejandro Mayorkas announce a Department of Homeland Security ‘Disinformation Governance Board,’ we thought he was trolling. Then he said Nina Jankowicz, best known as TikTok’s ‘Mary Poppins of Disinformation,’ would head it. LOL, as the kids say. … Apparently Mayorkas is serious, and the administration is rolling out Jankowicz, author of the new book ‘How to Be a Woman Online,’ as a ‘renowned expert in the field of disinformation.’ That’s true, though she’s more a practitioner of the craft than an expert in combating it. Jankowicz condemned the New York Post's reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop as a ‘Russian influence op’ and fanned the bogus claim that the Steele dossier began as a ‘Republican opposition research project.’ These are fine examples of Democrats, as Washington Free Beacon man of the year Matt Yglesias explained in a recent analysis, using the ‘disinformation’ charge as a scapegoat for losing voters.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: The left no longer has any idea what ‘neutral’ even is Editorial Board, New York Post

FLAG THIS

Chiming in on Internet Free Speech and Disinformation Governance


Polling conducted last week found 49% of respondents feel the internet should be a “free speech zone” without censorship, while 26% disagreed, and 25% weren’t sure.

Responses skewed along partisan lines, with 72% of Republicans saying yes to the internet as a “free speech zone,” while just 34% of Democrats agreed (YouGov).

Meanwhile, several days later, a poll asked if people support the federal government creating a “Disinformation Governance Board.” Just 16% said yes, while 74% said no, and 10% weren’t sure (Norfolk Daily News).

Flag Poll: Do you support the creation of a federal disinformation council? Join our discussion here.

FLAG FINDS

Momma Bear Cap, Cooler Computing, Safety-First Helmet


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WATERCOOLER

Chanel No. 5 Debuts, Robot Chef, Graveyard Picnics

On May 5, 1921, a date of symbolic importance to its iconic creator, the perfume Chanel No. 5 officially debuted in Coco Chanel’s boutique on the Rue Cambon in Paris. The new fragrance immediately revolutionized the perfume industry and has remained popular for a century.

Sky News: Robot chef that has learned to chew, taste and alter seasoning is unveiled

Ted: An introvert’s advice for networking

NY Times: 18 Recipes You Should Learn by Heart

Today I Learned before the advent of city parks, it was quite common for people to picnic in cemeteries.

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