My latest in PJ Media:
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas revealed Tuesday that he is working with the social media giants to combat “misinformation,” which all too often recently has come to mean “dissent from the establishment political and media line.” What about the First Amendment? They’re working on ways to get around it.
Brad Stone, senior executive editor for Bloomberg News, asked Mayorkas if he considered “misinformation” a “part of your mandate at DHS, and how much resources are you devoting to fighting misinformation such as election falsehoods or Covid disinformation?”
Mayorkas responded: “I think that’s very much within, uh, our domain, uh, misinformation, uh, pointedly, disinformation have very serious and significant ramifications for homeland security. The integrity of our election system, the security of our election system is a prime example of that. And so, um, our office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans under Rob Silver’s leadership, CISA [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] under Jen Easterly’s leadership, uh, John Cohen leading, uh, the office of intelligence and analysis, uh, in an acting capacity, Samantha Winograd, a senior counselor to the Secretary and our Acting Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism, these are individuals very much involved in their respective workforces, very much involved in addressing misinformation, disinformation, and the threats that they pose to the homeland.”
Instead of pressing Mayorkas about how these officials distinguished what was actual misinformation or disinformation from what was claimed to be by hyper-partisans, Stone lobbed Mayorkas a softball: “I, I know you’ve been doin’ this a long time. Personally, do you ever get, um, you know, or — do you ever get upset by just the ubiquity of falsehoods and mysol — and myth —- in our public dialogue these days, and, and the ease with which they’re transported across social media and the Internet?
Speaking very slowly and deliberately, Mayorkas answered: “I, um, I do. I, I think that, uh, false narratives present a threat to our security. The propagation of false narratives is something to be condemned. Uh, we need our leaders, uh, to step up and fight against it, eyah, because the words of leaders, you know, they matter quite a bit. They can be very influential in the public discourse. You know, uh, the Department of Homeland Security, our, our work, uh, rests often at the epicenter of the country’s divide, and the country’s divide is something that has security, um, implications, and is also very saddening. You know, last week, uh, I was privileged to attend a memorial service, ahhm, for Bob Dole, uh, one of our nation’s great leaders and great public servants, uh, and, um, heroes. And the — it spoke of a different time. It spoke of a time when, uh, people could disagree on policy and still work together in the service of a country that we all love. And, um, I, and so many others are working to renew that day.”
How is Mayorkas working to bring back those halcyon days of national unity and mutual respect? By restricting our First Amendment freedom of speech rights, of course. Stone asked him: “And when you talk about leaders who should be held to a higher standard, do you include, uh, Silicon Valley and other technology CEOs? Would you like to see private industry do more to combat misinformation?”
There is more. Read the rest here.