Misinformation differs from disinformation only in regard to intent. The former is simply inaccurate information without the intent of being so. Disinformation is intentionally crafted by the sender and sent by him/her.
Those on the Left dismiss out of hand ideas they don’t like through name-calling. Information that goes against what the Left consider gospel, like the possible dangers of Covid vaccines or treatments such as Ivermectin, is dismissed out of hand as disinformation (or misinformation) depending on who is using the term. A Google search of the term disinformation yields 100 million results!
Robert Malone (the physician censored for presenting information counter to the CDC’s Covid gospel) and Whitney Webb argue that journalism is in existential crisis through their war on dissent: “Whereas journalism continues to be defined as ’writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation’—in practice, it has become a battlefield where the most powerful social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, TIKTOK, Snapchat, Twitter, Whatsapp, etc.)—that is, those closest to the centers of power—deliberately manipulate or omit facts to craft narratives that expressly benefit the powerful while also colluding to censor their more truthful competition.”
Dominick Sansone terms this America’s “information war” with political power and financial fortunes at stake. In the underbelly of this war is the promulgation of disinformation—the Left’s coin of the realm against anything expressed by the Right, no matter how valid.
Although the term “disinformation” reemerged as the popular parlance of federal bureaucrats during the Trump presidency, the term traces back to an 1876 newspaper article published in the Newport Mercury (Newport, RI). Disinformation is a literal translation of the Russian word dezinformatsiya, which means “misinformation,” a term the KGB used in the 1950s to signify a department created to dispense Communist propaganda.
Disinformation has been emancipated as the go-to term used by the American left, the Democrat party and America’s mainstream media (MSM), enabling them to besmirch and deny any expert opinion or information presented by conservatives. In fact as Josh Hammer stated recently:
“The Fetterman debate debacle is yet another ‘mask-off’ moment for America’s hyper partisan Fourth Estate, which time and again demonstrates its eagerness to provide cover for its overlords in the Democratic Party rather than do what it is supposed to do: report accurately, and opine intelligently, on the news of the day and why it matters to the American people. Left-leaning social media have used the term disinformation as their raison d’être for cancelling inconvenient truths be it about Covid and its treatments and vaccines or President Trump’s allegations about the deep state (DOJ, FBI, NIC and those prosecuting his now debunked Russian Collision).”
Trump is being attacked, according to Jana Winter and Elias Groll in The Memo, because he represents “an existential threat to cultural Marxist memes that dominate the prevailing cultural narrative.” Those threatened by Trump include ‘deep state actors, globalists, bankers, Islamists, and establishment Republicans.” Now that he is out of office in this midterm season, we see the Left accusing all Republican candidates of being part of MAGA–a veritable untruth. Somehow that is not considered disinformation by the MSM.
Disinformation has become the parlance on leftist mainstream media. Illustrative of this is a New York Times article that recently headlined, “Disinformation Has Become Another Untouchable Problem in Washington”, concluding, “There is wide agreement across the federal government that coordinated disinformation campaigns threaten to exacerbate public health emergencies, stoke ethnic and racial divisions and even undermine democracy itself.” Of course our federal government should know all about the disinformation going on in America since Joe Biden’s Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas condemned on national television U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback for whipping illegal Haitian immigrants trying to cross into the United States illegally. After an expensive and lengthy review, investigators reinstated these agents but Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus said they showed “discrimination” and “intolerance” against these illegals. There was no apology for this disinformation from the Biden administration.
Everything American citizens do or say against Democrat-favored groups must be discrimination, especially if these groups include persons of color, other-gendered, or disabled as alleged in the MSM’s critical account of the “ableist” pile-on about presently elected Pennsylvania Democrat Senator John Fetterman.
The late, great free market economist Milton Friedman aptly put this circumstance: “We suffer from ‘a government system that is no longer controlled by ‘we, the people.’ Instead of Lincoln’s government ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people,’ we now have a government ‘of the people, by the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats.” Disinformation is everything that disagrees with how those on the Left see our world.
The U.S. President and Democrat leader, Joe Biden, is a walking, talking repository of misinformation having famously and falsely pronounced that:
- The Supreme Court abolished abortion in The U.S.
- The U.S. southern border is secure
- The U.S. economy is strong as hell
- The Taliban won’t return to power after the U.S. leaves Kabul
- Kamala Harris is the President of the United States
- Inflation is not a significant problem in America
- Climate is the world’s greatest existential threat
With the U.S. petroleum industry all but shut down in Biden’s second year in office, he now informs us that it is Saudi Arabia’s fault for not selling oil to America to keep our industry and American workers functioning above recessionary levels. Also important in the chronic disinformation campaign of Joe Biden is his baseless, partisan claim in a recent address that, “MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards — backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.” Not surprisingly, the liberal Poynter Institute’s Center for Journalistic Studies fact-checker—PoliticFact, only rates this prevarication as “speculative.”
Most newspapers regard conservative commentary with leftist contempt. This is concisely explained in Bari Weiss’s July 14, 2020 resignation letter to the New York Times. She was a Times editorial editor and writer, lamenting, “…a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”
Silicon Valley’s social media leviathan has become the Left’s keeper of the disinformation keys, censoring as disinformation any communication its leftist truth-arbitrators deem too conservative, even if valid, or too against the Leftist ideas and principles Big Tech holds dear. This is why the Left was so against Elon Musk buying Twitter and controlling its more than 450 million active monthly users. As Roger Kimball opined “Everything about Musk is an insult to the coddled, low-testosterone consensus that has been ruining America this last decade through the promulgation of its dependency agenda. It is no accident…that even as Musk pushes ahead with his reformation of Twitter, the coercive busybodies of the state have begun making minatory noises about ‘investigating’ Musk.” Victor Davis Hanson characterizes it as akin to Molly Ball’s infamous essay calling it, “A well-funded cabal of power people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information.”
I close with a recent disinformation campaign from leftists across the country. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis worked with the State legislature to craft and implement an education bill. When challenged by a reporter about the ban on alternative lifestyles, DeSantis responded that nowhere in the bill or the bill’s premise does it use those words. Simply put, the bill bans the promotion of Critical Race Theory concepts in Florida public school districts in kindergarten through the third grade, in the belief shared by lawmakers and parents that it is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for young students being taught such ideas.
Calling out this media-sponsored misinformation, DeSantis responded:
“I’m asking you to tell me what’s in the bill because you are pushing false narratives. It doesn’t matter what critics say… And the idea that you wouldn’t be honest about that and tell people what it actually says, its why people don’t trust people like you because you peddle false narratives. And so we just disabused you of those narratives.”
The problem for the woke leftists is that they subsist on political perversion through nanny-state tyranny and a neutered justice system in order to thrive.
Despite being in power at this writing, leftists are losing the battle for American hearts and minds so they now double down on the same tactics they used during the Trump years on other Republicans, it is sophistry at its amalgamed worst.
Loyd Pettegrew has a doctorate from the University of Michigan and is a Professor Emeritus of Communication at the University of South Florida where he was referred to as the “token Capitalist” within his department. Loyd has written essays in The Federalist, Townhall, FrontPage and American Thinker and more than 40 articles in refereed academic journals. He is completing a biopic titled “Reading Waves: A Grammar for Successful Living”.