HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher blasted the Biden administration during his Friday program for creating a “Ministry of Truth” that will eventually have negative implications for Democrats, as well as Republicans and other Americans.
As noted by The Blaze, the host made his point by harkening back to a lie told by former President Barack Obama as an example, while also taking aim at the official chosen to run the new panel, Nina Jankowicz.
Maher’s comments come on the heels of a late April announcement by the Department of Homeland Security over the creation of the “Disinformation Governance Board,” which his been nicknamed the “Ministry of Truth” by critics, a reference to the 1949 novel “1984” by George Orwell about an all-powerful government that controls ever aspect of our lives.
DHS officials said that the new agency’s mission will be to “coordinate countering misinformation related to homeland security, focused specifically on irregular migration and Russia.”
But a DHS memo released this month expands the new board’s power dramatically:
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.
During his show, Maher said while he agreed with the effort to combat disinformation from Russia and other sources because “they are our adversary and trying to hurt us.” However, he said he had major concerns about how the 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, before mentioning a false claim made by Obama about his signature health care bill dubbed ‘Obamacare.’
“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 then said, “Okay, so government should not be involved in deciding what’s true or not true!”
The host then asked one of his guests about what the board’s actions might consist of if a Republican wins the White House in 2024.
“Who do you think the truth czar is going to be in 2025?”
Former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), who is 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 the host, “I don’t think that’s where it’s going.”
Still, Maher said critics of the new agency were right to compare it to a truth ministry.
“Yes, they’re right to compare this to Orwell in the Ministry of Truth. It’s exactly what it sounds like,” Maher exclaimed.