by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A better editor would have looked at Taylor Lorenz’s story this morning, contending that the Department of Homeland Security shut down the Disinformation Governance Board because of intense criticism from “the right-wing Internet apparatus,” and told the reporter, “No, that’s not the story. Keep digging until you find an explanation that makes sense, checks out, and is less self-serving to those involved.” …
… As much as I would love to believe that conservative voices on the Internet have awesome and far-reaching power that makes cabinet secretaries quake in their boots, that is not the way the world has ever worked, that is not the way the world works now, and that is not the way the world will likely ever work. Federal agencies don’t shut down projects just because they’ve gotten a lot of critical coverage in the media, particularly conservative media.
If intense criticism from the Internet could get a federal agency to stop doing something, very few federal agencies would ever do anything. If intense criticism from the Internet could get a federal official to resign, then Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Antony Blinken, Alejandro Mayorkas, Merrick Garland, Janet Yellen and just about the entire Biden administration would all be cleaning out their desks.
But in Lorenz’s version of events, the Biden administration saw critical segments on Fox News and just . . . gave up. Quit, and went home. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably followed politics for a long time. When’s the last time you remember a federal agency suddenly waving a white flag and pulling the plug on a program less than a month after its announcement?
It’s extremely rare, and when it does happen, it means someone within the agency has decided the program just wasn’t worth the grief and aggravation.