Confirming the suspicions of many concerned observers (including this writer), video of newly announced DHS “Disinformation Governance Board” darling Nina Jankowicz, reveals that she harbors censorious desires that have been held by not only many leftists, but many statist tyrants, over the years.
Speaking October 15, 2020 via video to members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Jankowicz displayed a blindness to her own hypocrisy about free speech, even as she prattled praise for centrally planned speech through the Federal Communications Commission and government-funded propaganda.
I’m gonna jump in on the Fairness Doctrine bit. I personally would, uh (laughs), would welcome its return to our country.
The subject of her reference being the Orwellian, so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” an FCC mandate on “licensed” radio and TV stations that from the 1969 Supreme Court decision in a case called “Red Lion Broadcasting v FCC” until the FCC mandate was dropped in late 1987, dictated to broadcasters that, if they allowed “opinion” on the air, they MUST allow “the” opposing opinion.
This infantile ultimatum not only contravened the First Amendment by compelling speech, it reinforced the illusory idiocy that the FCC itself was, in any way, constitutionally legit.
And it overlooked fundamentally important considerations.
Once the “doctrine” was established, thousands of station owners, hosts, and advertisers were kept in perpetual states of fear that the feds would pull their “licenses” should they say the wrong thing.
After all, what the government deemed “opinion” about what topics never was clearly delineated, because, of course, each of us has our own opinions on everything.
And this fear led to what one can logically deduce: station owners worked hard to avoid discussion of any political topics unless said discussion was done under the mask of “news.”
Honest presentation of opinion was wiped out, while “news agitprop” became the media’s currency – one of the major reasons that folks like Brent Bozell, founder of The Media Research Center, got involved in keeping keen watch on the mainstream networks 35 years ago.
Essentially, the “Fairness Doctrine” threw free speech into the Tragedy of the Commons, that economic truism I often mention here at MRCTV, in which a state claims ownership and control over something. In this case the feds intentionally misread the “Commerce Clause” of the Constitution, claim that because radio waves go over state borders, THEY can control/own the broadcast spectrum, and then they claimed the power to “license” slots for station “owners” to use – which also means that the feds claim the power to yank the licenses at any time for any reason.
When seizing power over the broadcast spectrum, the feds claimed it “belonged to everyone.” But not everyone can use a “public resource” the way they want at the same time. This means that, like one might witness in the impossibility of using a government field for every sport at the same time, a football game and a baseball game can’t be broadcast on the same station at the same time.
Which meant that, under the “Fairness Doctrine,” government restricted and decided what “speech” could be allowed.
Rather than opening the “public airwaves”, the practical effect was to shut things down. Fearful of government retribution, station owners shied away from “opinions”, and the world lost years of valuable discourse and interplay on important issues.
It was not until the Reagan Administration FCC ended the “Fairness Doctrine” that opinion was allowed to flourish, and flourish it did, seeing the reemergence of Talk Radio, led by titan Rush Limbaugh, to a growing audience of people who had yearned for alternatives to the government-pushing pop media nets, and leading to the leftists calling for (no surprise) a return of the “Fairness Doctrine”! (Because, of course, leftists weren’t popular among people who listened to and participated in open discourse on Talk Radio.)
That said, our new Minister of Truth also told the House committee she favors tax-funded propaganda – what a shock:
I also think there’s a point to be made about investing in journalism as a public good in the United States. We spend $1.35 per person, per year, on our public media, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell any of the members here the service that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting provides – particularly in news deserts around the country, where the local NPR and PBS stations are some of the only local journalism that is trustworthy that exists. And I think that we could stand to invest more in that, uh, dichotomy…
Overlooking her eventual sojourn from even the most basic verbal sense, there’s the fact that she is speaking here to people who swore oaths to the US Constitution, and the US Constitution does not allow the feds to fund NPR, or PBS, or the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, or any other “news” outlet.
And, of course, her numbers, even if aggregated, are wrong, because her focus on NPR, PBS, and the CPB overlook numerous ways the feds shell out cash to propagate messages.
Just last year, the Biden-pushed “American Recovery Act” included in it a revivification of the Portman-Murphy Countering Foreign Propaganda Act, which lets the federal government pump $150 million into the pockets of “news” sources that push federally-approved messages.
Then there’s the hundreds of millions the feds take from us to fund the “International Trade Administration,” which, as the National Taxpayers Union notes, gives free promotion to giant US corporations doing business overseas.
But, of course, Ms. Jankowicz believes journalism is a “public good,” allowing the forces that can use the feedback loop to shower favors on the “deciders” (politicians and bureaucrats) to get the greatest access to the government-run resource – in this case access to speak, and to OUR MONEY to support it.
Yes, this is the woman who, evidently, many Congressional lefties have liked since 2020 when she was “chosen” to speak in that video chat.
And this is the woman who now sits in judgment of our speech.
Welcome to the Ministry of Truth.