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The 4PM: A highlight reel of today’s news.
For conservatives.
Every afternoon at 4PM.

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Biden’s Disinformation Board Shuts Down

The Biden administration has “paused” its controversial plans to create a Disinformation Governance Board, prompting the incoming executive director to offer her resignation.

SO WHAT

Don’t call it a victory for the right until you see how the decision is being explained.

WHAT HAPPENED

The Department of Homeland Security has put the launch of the disinformation board on hold following a “disastrous” rollout and backlash from conservatives and others, The Washington Post first reported Wednesday.

  • The Post’s tech columnist, Taylor Lorenz, broke the news, citing “multiple employees at DHS.”
  • DHS decided to shut down the board Monday, and the would-be executive director, Nina Jankowicz, drafted a resignation letter by Tuesday morning, per Lorenz.
  • But on Tuesday night, DHS instead suspended its work on “mis-, dis- and mal-information” and gave Jankowicz the opportunity to stay on while the fate of the board was determined.

DHS confirmed to CNN later Wednesday that the disinformation board was on pause and its work was under review.

  • Jankowicz said she was resigning because she was unsure the board had a future after the “debacle” of the past few weeks.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

While critics celebrated the collapse of the so-called Ministry of Truth, DHS officials, and in turn Lorenz, framed the story as further proof of the need for just such a government regulator.

“The Board’s purpose has been grossly mischaracterized; it will not police speech,” a DHS spokesperson told Lorenz. “Quite the opposite, its focus is to ensure that freedom of speech is protected.”

  • “The irony is that Nina’s role was to come up with strategies for the department to counter this type of campaign, and now they’ve just succumbed to it themselves,” said an anonymous person “with knowledge of the situation.” “They didn’t even fight, they just rolled over.”
  • “We’re going to need another Nina down the road,” an anonymous DHS staffer said. “And anyone who takes that position is going to be vulnerable to a disinformation campaign or attack.

“Jankowicz’s experience is a prime example of how the right-wing Internet apparatus operates, where far-right influencers attempt to identify a target, present a narrative and then repeat mischaracterizations across social media and websites with the aim of discrediting and attacking anyone who seeks to challenge them,” wrote Lorenz of widespread mockery and criticism of the 33-year-old disinformation expert.

  • “It also shows what happens when institutions, when confronted with these attacks, don’t respond effectively.”
  • Lorenz did not specify which references to Jankowicz’s work were allegedly “right-wing disinformation.”

SAME ENERGY

Lorenz, 43, herself a frequent target of derision on social media, broke down crying last month while telling MSNBC about her “PTSD” from “online harassment.”

  • She had previously complained in public that her former employer, The New York Times, didn’t do enough to support her “brand” or to defend her from critics.
(Omar Marques/Getty Images)

Democrats Were Really Into ‘Replacement Theory’ Before They Decided It Was Racist

Leading Democrats cheered the diversification of the American electorate through immigration for years before they decided it was racist for Republicans to notice.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The Buffalo Shooter Is in Cahoots With the Supreme Court

The Washington Post’s Brian Broome claimed in a column Tuesday that the Buffalo shooter has the same motivation as conservative opponents of abortion.

WHAT HE SAID

According to Broome, Payton Gendron, the suspect in Saturday’s allegedly racist mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, is not “mentally ill,” “troubled” or “just a misguided teen.”

  • “The truth is that he’s simply hateful in the same way that right-wing politics have instructed him to be,” Broome wrote.
  • Both white supremacists and “popular right-wing conservatives” fear “losing the top spot” in America’s racial hierarchy, he suggested, and that fear “has mutated into an ideology known as the great replacement theory.”

Broome went on to say that the “same sort of thinking about race and birthrates now dominates the Supreme Court” and explains the recently leaked draft majority opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, a 1973 decision creating a constitutional right to abortion.

  • “The leaked draft opinion isn’t about protecting babies. It is about protecting Whiteness. Specifically, White babies … The Supreme Court draft decision is about protecting what conservatives believe is a diminishing demographic and their most valuable resource: White people,” he said.
  • “Critical race theory frightens conservatives for a related reason. They imagine that, if schools teach the real American history, White people will be as hated and reviled as the other races in this country. So, it’s best to teach a redacted version of the story.”

Broome denied that he was “engaging in conspiracy theories,” citing his “lived experience” as a black American as proof of his claims.

  • “The real agenda here is to boost White birthrates, because among the biggest fears of conservatives is the fear of being outnumbered. It’s all over Gendron’s lengthy ‘manifesto,'” he concluded.

SAME ENERGY

Many prominent liberals have suggested the Buffalo shooter was a product of systemic anti-black racism, particularly on the right.

  • “White people have told people who look like me … ‘It is fine to be a minority. You can do it!,” New York Times columnist Charles Blow said Monday on MSNBC.
  • “The moment that white people sense that they can be on the verge of being a minority themselves, many of them are responding with terrorism and killing people.”
(Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Who’s Having a Good/Bad Day on Twitter

Our main characters on Twitter Tuesday were Elon Musk and Twitter.

HAVING A GOOD ONE

MUSK: Fans rallied behind the tech billionaire as he slammed a Twitter executive caught on video mocking his Asperger’s syndrome and declared himself a newly converted Republican.

HAVING A BAD ONE

TWITTER: In addition to the online fallout over the Asperger’s video and another unflattering clip released by Project Veritas, the social media giant took a beating in the stock market as Musk continued to second-guess their $44 billion takeover deal.

 

(Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

THE 4PM POLL: Should Dr. Oz Take Trump’s Election Night Advice?

With Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate primary apparently headed for a recount, former President Donald Trump overnight Tuesday advised Mehmet Oz, the candidate he endorsed in the race, to go ahead and declare victory over David McCormick. “It makes it much harder for them to cheat with the ballots they ‘just happened to find,'” Trump wrote on Truth Social.


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(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN: 4PM Readers Say Good Riddance to Jen Psaki

Respondents to The 4PM Poll overwhelmingly reject the argument made by some conservatives that Jen Psaki was a skilled White House press secretary.

WHAT YOU SAID

In Tuesday’s poll, we asked: “Politics aside, do you think Psaki was an impressive press secretary?”

  • 80% of you said: “No. She was an unlikable partisan hack.”
  • 19% said: “Yes. It can’t be easy trying to spin Biden’s incoherent words and failed policies.”
  • 1% said: “Maybe. Let’s see how her replacement does.”

Hey, you said it, not us.

The 4PM: A highlight reel of today’s news.
For conservatives.
Every afternoon at 4PM.