Bill Maher issued a warning that the Biden administration's Disinformation Governance Board could backfire on Democrats. The HBO host hammered home his point by highlighting a lie by former President Barack Obama as an example. Maher also took a shot at the incoming disinformation czar Nina Jankowicz.
In late April, the Department of Homeland Security created the Disinformation Governance Board. At the time of the launch, the DHS said the new department's mission will be to "coordinate countering misinformation related to homeland security, focused specifically on irregular migration and Russia."
However, a Homeland Security Department memo released earlier this month appears to expand the Disinformation Governance Board's responsibilities and powers:
Disinformation, which is false information that is deliberately spread with the intent to deceive or mislead, can take many forms. When it comes to DHS’s work, the Department is focused on disinformation that threatens the security of the American people, including disinformation spread by foreign states such as Russia, China, and Iran, or other adversaries such as transnational criminal organizations and human smuggling organizations. Such malicious actors often spread disinformation to exploit vulnerable individuals and the American public, including during national emergencies.
On Friday night's episode of "Real Time with Bill Maher," the liberal talk show host said he agreed with the newly-formed department's role in combatting Russian disinformation since "they are our adversary and trying to hurt us." However, Maher was deeply concerned with how the Disinformation Governance Board could be politically weaponized.
"But then here's from the Department of Homeland Security, 'Disinformation is defined as false information that is deliberately spread with the intention to deceive or mislead,'" Maher quoted the DHS.
Maher then referenced the Obamacare promise to Americans from former President Obama.
"Well, you could have said that about ‘If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,’" Maher suggested, recalling Obama's vow that was proclaimed "Lie of the Year" by PolitiFact in 2013.
"It said also, here's a phrase, ‘can take many forms.’ Okay, now we're going faster down the slippery slope," Maher warned.
Maher declared, "Okay, so government should not be involved in deciding what's true or not true!"
Maher then questioned what would happen to the Disinformation Governance Board if Republicans regained the White House in the next presidential election.
He asked, "Who do you think the truth czar is going to be in 2025?"
Former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) – who sits on the Department of Homeland Security advisory committee – said during the show that if the new department was "confined to a few missions" that "it'd be fine."
Harman conceded that "something very broad scale" would be "highly unfortunate," but told Maher, "I don't think that's where it's going."
Maher mentioned that many people are labeling the Disinformation Governance Board as the "Ministry of Truth" – the department of propaganda in George Orwell's dystopian book "1984."
"Yes, they're right to compare this to Orwell in the Ministry of Truth. It's exactly what it sounds like," Maher exclaimed.
Numerous Republicans have called Biden's Disinformation Governance Board the "Ministry of Truth" – including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).
Maher also slammed the incoming director of the new Disinformation Governance Board for wanting to enable verified Twitter users to edit other users if they feel like a tweet is misleading.
During a recent Zoom call, Nina Jankowicz said, “Verified people can essentially start to ‘edit’ Twitter [in] the same sort of way that Wikipedia is so they can add context to certain tweets.”
Maher noted that Twitter users can easily add a reply to tweets – which could provide context.
"Oh, you mean like what Twitter is? That's what Twitter is. Somebody says something and then you add context," Maher snapped back sarcastically, then added, "These are not bright people in our government."
Earlier this month, Fox News host Greg Gutfeld suggested that Bill Maher should be Biden's disinformation czar because he is "somebody that pisses you off 50% of the time and doesn’t tick you off the other 50%."
During last week's "Real Time with Bill Maher," the liberal host railed against censorship.
"This idea that we can clean up Twitter and project you from fake news and disinformation- it's so ridiculous," Maher said, according to Fox News. "People always lie. That's what people do. Every age is the misinformation age. And whenever a new means of communication comes along, some reach right for the censor button. In 1858 The New York Times thought we couldn't handle the transatlantic telegraph. They said it was ‘superficial and too fast for the truth.’"
"Lies are all around you develop a better bulls**t detector," Maher snarled. "That's a better solution than me giving up what I'm allowed to read. Who decides that? Who decides what gets the ‘no evidence for that’ sticker slapped on it?"
"This is still America where people have the right to express what they think including to be wrong to lie and yes, the right to be an a**hole," Maher declared. "And if you think you know everything and no one else could possibly have some other truth, you should be glad for that protection, because you're an a**hole."
New Rule: The Misinformation Age | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) www.youtube.com