Lee Heidhues 5.30.2022
Is Washington debunking fake news, disseminating fake news of its own, promoting deep fakes or simply dispensing good old fashion propaganda?
Last week Nina Jankowicz was interviewed (link attached) on the prestigious and highly viewed Amanpour and Company. Ms. Jankowicz stepped down as head of Disinformation Governing Board after a month in the position. She was assailed by all sides of the Washington political sprectrum.
Ms. Jankowicz has been published in the ultra establishment Foreign Affairs. She presents a benign and seemingly straight forward persona to the Media of which she is an expert practitioner. Manipulator?
She can be followed on Twitter. @wiczipedia
I wanted to learn more about the Disinformation Governing Board and Ms, Jankowicz. The Nation has been covering this volatile story and takes a different perspective than that presented on Amanpour and Company.
It’s an interesting tale in the information wars.
Excerpted from The Nation 5.12.2022
Late last month, the Joe Biden administration publicly confirmed that a “Disinformation Governing Board” working group had been created within the Department of Homeland Security.
But there’s no need to engage in hypotheticals to understand the dangers. One has to only consider the past of Nina Jankowicz, the head of the new disinformation board.
Jankowicz’s experience as a disinformation warrior includes her work with StopFake, a US government-funded “anti-disinformation” organization founded in March 2014 and lauded as a model of how to combat Kremlin lies.
Four years later, StopFake began aggressively whitewashing two Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups with a long track record of violence, including war crimes.
During Jankowicz’s tenure with StopFake (her last known episode aired May 21, 2017), the disinformation site continued being touted as a pioneer in combating Russian propaganda. In March 2017, a fawning Politico story heralded StopFake as the “grand wizards” of the anti-fake news ecosystem.
It was an ironically prophetic description, given that Jankowicz’s misleading “nothing to see here” report about the battalions turned out to be a mere fraction of what StopFake has done for Ukraine’s far right.
By 2018, StopFake started defending C14, a neo-Nazi gang that conducted horrific pogroms of Ukraine’s Roma. After media outlet Hromadske described C14 as neo-Nazi, one of StopFake’s founders tweeted “for Hromadske, C14 is ‘neo-Nazi,’ in reality one of them—Oleksandr Voitko—is a war veteran and before going to the war—alum and faculty at @MohylaJSchool, journalist at Foreign news desk at Channel 5. Now also active participant of war veterans grass-root organization,” as if the fact that the gang has a veteran somehow precludes it from being neo-Nazi.