Fox News disinformation “There needs to be consequences”

Lee Heidhues 5.19.2023

Fox News is being sued again. This time by Nina Jankowicz (@wiczipedia) who briefly ran the short lived Disinformation Governance Board, responsible for monitoring disinformation campaigns by other nations.

On May 2, 2022, the The Department of Homeland Security released a statement which said that the board would monitor disinformation spread by “foreign states such as Russia, China, and Iran” and “transnational criminal organizations and human smuggling organizations”

The Board was disbanded in August 2022.

What is most alarming about Ms. Jankowicz’ experience is the vicious manner in which she was attacked and harassed by Fox News. Exposing her to hate all too typically displayed by the shallow minded and ready to believe anything Fox audience.

Attached is a link to an interview with Ms. Jankowicz after her resignation on Amanpour and Company.

Excerpted from The Guardian 5.19.2023

The woman suing Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News for defamation in the wake of the $787m settlement with the voting machine company Dominion has accused the media giant of waging a campaign of “vitriolic lies” against her that amounts to a threat to democracy.

Nina Jankowicz (@wiczipedia) who briefly ran short lived Disinformation Governance Board, responsible for monitoring disinformation campaigns by other nations.

Nina Jankowicz sued Fox News and its parent company Fox Corporation for allegedly damaging her reputation as a specialist in conspiracy theories and disinformation campaigns. The lawsuit was lodged in a Delaware state court exactly a year after she resigned as executive director of a new Department of Homeland Security unit combatting online disinformation.

“Every time they talked about me on Fox, a new wave of harassment would start. I would get a spike especially when (Tucker) Carlson and (Sean)Hannity mentioned me.”

The Disinformation Governance Board was abruptly shut down in the wake of a storm of virulent rightwing criticism, allegedly fueled by Fox News. Jankowicz and the new DHS division she led were attacked as being part of a conspiracy to censor rightwing comment spearheaded by Joe Biden.

Jankowicz resigned from the federal post on 18 May 2022, barely three weeks into the job.

In an interview with the Guardian, she said her motive in suing Fox was to ensure accountability for what she alleged was a campaign of lies against her that undermined American democracy. “There needs to be consequences,” she said.

“It was lies, very personal and very vitriolic lies. And I don’t think that is democratic.”

She added that what she claimed was Fox’s reckless disregard for the truth had implications for the future of the country. “If we can’t agree on statements of fact, how can you live in a democracy?”

As an authority on disinformation campaigns, Jankowicz said she could predict the cycle of events that unfolded. Whenever Fox hosts attacked her on air, a swarm of online hate would be directed at her culminating in multiple death threats.