‘Would you be OK if Trump ran it?’ CNN’s Bash hits Mayorkas on ‘Orwellian’ Disinformation Board

(Video: CNN)

CNN’s Dana Bash had Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tapdancing in his seat on Sunday, during a segment in which she pressed the official on the newly-announced formation of the controversial Disinformation Governance Board, dubbed by many as the “Ministry of Truth.”

“Republicans are calling it ‘Orwellian’ and comparing it to the Ministry of Truth in the novel 1984,” said Bash. “Can you clarify what exactly is this? What exactly will this Disinformation Governance Board do? Will it monitor American citizens?”

Mayorkas welcomed the opportunity to set the record straight on the “small group” of DHS employees tasked will telling Americans what is and isn’t “disinformation.”

“Dana, I’m very pleased to do so,” he responded. “It’s clear, those criticisms are precisely the opposite of what this small working group within the Department of Homeland Security will do. And I think we probably could have done a better job of communicating what it does and does not do.”

Mayorkas then attempted to explain the necessity of such a board, before Bash cut him off.

“The fact is that disinformation that creates a threat to the security of the homeland is our responsibility to address,” Mayorkas said. “And this department has been addressing it for years. Throughout the years of the prior administration, on an ongoing basis, disinformation from Russia, China—”

“Right. We know the problems, but it’s not still clear to me how this governance board will act,” Bash interjected. “What will it do?”

It’s all about “best practices,” Mayorkas replied, without bothering to explain what or who defines “best practices.”

“So, what it does is, it works to ensure that the way in which we address threats, the connectivity between threats and acts of violence, are addressed without infringing on free speech,” Mayorkas explained. “Protecting civil rights and civil liberties. The right of privacy. And the board, this working group, internal working group, will draw from best practices and communicate those best practices to the operators, because the board does not have operational authority.”

Again, Bash asked if American citizens will be monitored. “Guarantee that?” she pressed.

“So what we do,” Mayorkas said, “we in the Department of Homeland Security don’t monitor American citizens.”

“You don’t,” Bash shot back, “but will this Board change that?”

“No, no, no” Mayorkas assured viewers. “The Board does not have any operational capability. What it will do is gather together best practices in addressing the threat of disinformation from foreign state adversaries, from the cartels, and disseminate those best practices to the operators that have been executing and addressing this threat for years.”

It was a typical politician’s answer. Without defining “best practices,” Mayorkas basically said that the Board will be the gatekeeper of what is and isn’t “propaganda,” and will have the power to spread it at will.

Bash then took aim at DHS’s choice to lead the Disinformation Governance Board, the Broadway tune-singing Nina Jankowicz, who has been making her personal political biases publicly known for years.

 

Don’t believe your lying eyes or damaged ears.

Mayorkas assured CNN viewers Jankowicz is “eminently qualified” to decide what practices are best for the security of the homeland, and she’s not at all biased.

“Imminently qualified, a renowned expert in the field of disinformation,” Mayorkas said of Jankowicz.

“Neutral?” asked Bash.

“Absolutely so,” replied Mayorkas with confidence.

And then Bash asked the question on the minds of many Americans — Americans who, under normal circumstances, would never tune in to CNN.

“Would you be okay if Donald Trump were president, if he created this Disinformation Governance Board or if it is in place in 2024, that he’s in charge of such a thing?” she questioned.

Remember that scene in “Chicago,” where Richard Gere starts tapdancing in front of the jury?

It was like that, without the music Jankowicz appears to love so much.

“I believe that this working group that gathers together best practices makes sure that our work is coordinated, consistent with those best practices, that we’re safeguarding the right of free speech, that we’re safeguarding civil liberties,” Mayorkas replied. without answering. “I think it’s an extraordinarily important endeavor.”

If Mayorkas hopes to convince any outside the CNN bubble, he’d better practice his “best practices.”

On Twitter, few are buying what Mayorkas is desperately trying to sell.

“I couldn’t care less whose idea it was,” tweeted one user. “This is nothing more than government censorship akin to the CCP. Why would any freedom-loving individual ever think this is a good idea?”

“Reminds me of the line from MIB…” the user added. “‘A person is smart, but people are dumb.'”

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