New York Times piece calls for ‘reality czar’ to fight ‘disinformation and domestic extremism’
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NEW YORK, February 3, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In a move self-described as “draconian,” a New York Times writer has called for Joe Biden to appoint a “reality czar” in order to “tackle disinformation and domestic extremism” with particular reference to election fraud and information about COVID-19.
The suggestion came from Kevin Roose’s column in the Times, laying out the ways in which Biden could solve a “reality crisis.” Roose suggested that the so-called crisis was being promulgated by people who supported former President Donald Trump, believing that he legitimately won the 2020 election, as well as by people who peddled “conspiracy theories” about the origins of COVID-19.
One such conspiracy Roose mentioned was the view that COVID-19 had been created in a lab — a belief which has been strongly supported by scientists, China experts, and the former U.S. Secretary of State. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for further evidence and support of this.)
As a way to rid America of what Roose termed “disinformation and domestic extremism,” he suggested Biden should appoint a “reality czar.”
“It sounds a little dystopian, I’ll grant,” Roose admitted, before presenting quotations from his chosen team of “experts” to support his position.
One of Roose’s “experts,” Dr. Joan Donovan from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, promoted a “truth commission” which would study the “planning and execution of the Capitol siege on Jan. 6,” and avoid listening too much to the “fringe groups that came out in droves for Trump.”
Another “expert,” Renée DiResta, a disinformation researcher at Stanford’s Internet Observatory, suggested that those who promoted “misinformation about Covid-19 and misinformation about election fraud” were often the same people. As such, she suggested that there should be a “centralized task force” which would organize a “single, strategic response.”
This would be bolstered by partnering with “tech platforms,” DiResta said, so that the reality task force could “push for structural changes that could help those companies tackle their own extremism and misinformation problems.”
She mentioned how such a draconian assault on free speech and personal liberties, would thus be “the tip of the spear for the federal government’s response to the reality crisis.”
The commissioner of truth would work in conjunction with Big Tech companies like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to unearth users on the platforms who were “amplifying conspiracy theories and extremist views.”
The editor-in-chief of the National Pulse, Raheem Kassim, responded to the news with a simple tweet, comparing the reality czar to the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”
“Ah, the Ministry of Truth,” he tweeted. “I’ve been waiting for this one.”
Writing for National Review, Jim Geraghty pointed out that a reality czar would simply be “more or less announcing to people who believe that the government is out to get them that yes, the government is indeed out to get them.”
“Has Orwell’s dystopian novel gone from being a prophetic warning to now becoming a Biden administration handbook?” questioned conservative political commentator Dinesh D’Souza.
Not content with his plans, Roose went further, saying that a reality czar would not be enough to “bring back the millions of already radicalized Americans.” He suggested a “social stimulus” whereby people would enroll in “federal programs” to keep them busy and away from the danger of being radicalized online. Unless Biden addresses the “urgent threats” of “conspiracy theories and disinformation … violent unrest and civic dysfunction will only grow,” Roose warned.
As Paul Joseph Watson commented sarcastically for Summit News, “If there really was a truly independent ‘reality czar,’ the media would be big trouble because its entire raison d’être is predicated around distorting reality.”