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“Real Time” host Bill Maher lambasted the so-called “Disinformation Governance Council” and its executive director Nina Jankowicz.
During his roundtable Friday night, Maher hit out at the Department of Homeland Security, which he said had a “scary name,” for rolling out his new initiative, which he said is “even scarier.”
“Yes, they’re right to compare it to Orwell in the ‘Ministry of Truth,'” Maher said. “That’s exactly what it sounds like.”
After acknowledging that he “agreed” with the DGB’s mission to tackle disinformation from Russia and migrant smugglers, Maher took issue with DHS’s definition of “disinformation,” which is “to false information deliberately disseminated with the intention to deceive or mislead”. .”
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“Well, you could have said that about ‘If you love your doctor, you can keep your doctor,'” Maher reacted, referencing President Obama’s infamous claim about Obamacare, which was declared “Lie of the Year” by PolitiFact. “He also said, here’s a phase, ‘can take many forms.’ Ok, now we’re going faster down the slippery slope, “including but not limited to” the two I mentioned… ok, so the government shouldn’t be involved in the decision to which is true or not!”
“Because a lot of people say and my follow-up question would be, ‘Who do you think the Czar of Truth will be in 2025? Maher added.
Former Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., who says she’s on the DHS advisory board, hit out at the DGB, telling Maher “I don’t understand this piece” and that she was never consulted on this before deployment. She added that the council would be “fine” if it was “confined” to narrow missions, but expanding its authority “would be very unfortunate”.
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Maher then pointed to remarks Jankowicz had previously made about wanting to “essentially edit Twitter” to “add context to some tweets.”
“Oh, you mean like what Twitter is?” Maher told Jankowicz. This is Twitter! When someone says something and you add context.”
He added: “They are not brilliant people in our government.”
Last week, Maher closed his show with a monologue decrying internet censorship.
“This idea that we can clean up Twitter and project fake news and misinformation to you – it’s so ridiculous,” Maher told his audience. “People always lie. That’s what people do. Every age is the age of misinformation. And every time a new medium of communication appears, some hit the censor button. In 1858, the New York Times thought we couldn’t handle the transatlantic telegraph “They said it was ‘shallow and too fast for the truth'”.
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“Lies are all around you, develop a better bullshit detector. It’s a better solution than giving up what I’m allowed to read. Who decides that?” he later asked.
“Sometimes misinformation is just the first draft of the story. I see a lot of things on social media and also in old media and I don’t fully believe it, not right away. Not until ‘ve checked. And when I ask if it’s true, the answer is usually “Well, sort of” or “Yeah, but. So, you see, we’ve all become very adept at saying things that are technically true but lacks context or omits half the story. So if we want to ban lying, does that include the half truth, quarter truth, and wait, woke people in the world don’t they believe that what really matters is ‘your truth?'”
“This is still the America where people have the right to speak their minds, including being wrong to lie and yes, the right to be a —–. And if you think that you know everything and no one else could have any other truth, you should be happy about this protection, because you are a——,” Maher added.