What is More Important than Truth?
Post # 219, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary
"The truth will set you free, but first it will pi_s you off."
Feminist Gloria Steinem
I kind expected a left versus right critique of President Biden's new Disinformation Governance Board ("DGB") within the U. S. Department of Homeland Security. Not to disappoint, Gerald Baker of the Wall Street Journal lashed out at the idea as frivolous, blatantly partisan and unnecessary with the private sector available to do the same thing without the government involved at all. Mr. Baker forgets to admit that he (and his FOX owner Rupert Murdoch) has a conflict of interest on protecting Murdoch's mega zillions involved in their NEWSpaper business. Maybe FOX and yes, NBC, CBS, and CNN will become objective news distributors again. But, let's examine his criticism:
The DGB is frivolous. Nothing is more important than the truth when governments are on the brink of war. Vladimir Putin lied repeatedly when he said he had no plans to attack his peaceful neighbor Ukraine several weeks ago. To have arbitrated that lie into the truth might have saved thousands of Ukraine and Russian Lies. This ongoing war and maybe World War III is not frivolous.
The U. S. Constitution outlines the process for a Presidential Election. In 2020, and today, former President Donald Trump lied about the results of the election (which he lost). Untold millions have been spent by numerous states auditing and checking the election results and process. Thousands of otherwise honest politicians have supported the lie to win favor with Trump. The fairness of the next election this year is largely at risk because of the lies told in the last election. Implementing our Constitution in truth is not frivolous.
The DGB is Partisan. Although I do not know about the DGB Executive Director, Nina Jankowicz, I am willing to give Mr. Baker the benefit of the doubt that she might not garner support from the GOP. That was a mistake by President Biden because that criticism is so obvious. Since the DGB is a Board, it would have been wise to have the Board clearly Bi-Partisan and have selected an Executive Director that was vetted by Democrats and Republicans as either bi-partisan or non-partisan. Perhaps someone along the lines of former Senators Bill Cohen (R., Maine) or Sam Nunn (D., Georgia) would be my starting point. In any event, for credibility and success, avoiding partisanship is essential.
The DGB is Unnecessary. The Private Sector Can Do It. What planet have you been living on Mr. Baker? We have the internet and it is essentially unregulated. Anybody can get on it and spew out all the lies, hatred, and vile information they can imagine. Donald Trump himself has said, there are enough idiots out there that will believe anything. Even the somewhat regulated media like FOX News have reporter and anchor conferring with Chief of Staff Mark Meadow about how to spin "the Big Lie." On the other side MSNBC reporter and anchor Rachel Meadows opines right up to the line of truth, if not over it. Folks, the reason we need government to arbitrate the truth is because there is no assurance that the private sector has the integrity required.
So Mr. Baker help engineer a truth mechanism as perfect as can be made, then pledge support to it's work and let's get on with it. I am not sure if this is how the "Good House Keeping Seal of Approval," was created, but it would be good if the DGB had the same reputation for integrity