Former head of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) Nina Jancowicz announced her intention to sue Fox News, citing “malicious, reckless lies.”
The former disinformation czar was appointed to head the DGB in March 2022 , though in May the board and working groups were “paused.”
Jancowicz subsequently resigned from her position after public backlash and the DGB was officially disbanded on Aug. 24, 2022.
“I’m asking for your financial support of a lawsuit I want to bring against Fox News for their malicious, reckless lies against me,” Jancowicz said in a March 2 video she released on what appears to be a new YouTube channel named “Help Nina Fight Fox.”
“A year ago today, I realized a lifelong dream and entered public service as a U.S. government official,” Jancowicz continued. “I spent the better part of a decade working on both sides of the aisle to counter disinformation.”
The former disinformation czar noted her previously published books including 2020’s “How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict,” and 2022’s “How to Be A Woman Online: Surviving Abuse and Harassment, and How to Fight Back.”
Jancowicz referred to herself as an “advocate for free expression.” She further stated the “main thesis of [her] work is we can’t fight disinformation simply by removing content or restricting speech” — a reference to her short-lived stint as head of the DGB.
“My role was to make sure different entities across DHS were coordinated, to bring the latest research to bear in the department and to help the department ensure that its policies about its existing counter disinformation work were grounded in American values: privacy, civil rights and civil liberties,” she continued. “That’s all the board was. It didn’t have the ability or the authority to act on its own.”
Jancowicz noted criticism of the DGB as a “Ministry of Truth” in reference to George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.
The New York Post also ran a front page story about Jancowicz and the DGB, suggesting “Big Sister is watching you” in reference to the novel’s “big brother” symbol of surveillance and censorship.
Biden blasted for policing free speech with 'dystopian' disinformation bureau https://t.co/9LC2sohyex pic.twitter.com/ygENtWXZHr
— New York Post (@nypost) April 28, 2022
“Fox News launched overly personalized false and incendiary coverage of me, mainstreaming online conspiracy theories to tens of millions of Americans,” Jancowicz continued. “They lied about my role … and completely manufactured my past statements.”
The video featured a series of Fox News hosts and personalities, including Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, covering Jancowicz and the DGB at the time.
“They called me a liar, they called me crazy, and they told their audience I was evil,” she continued, claiming she received violent threats as a result of Fox News’ coverage. “I was weeks away from becoming a mom. Fox didn’t seem to mind.”
The former disinformation czar noted her resignation from the DGB on May 18, 2022, saying “Fox seemed happy about that.”
“But they still continued to lie about me, mentioning me in most weeks for the rest of 2022,” she continued. “Fox News irrevocably changed my life when they force-fed lies about me to tens of millions of their viewers. Tens of thousands have harassed me online. Hundreds have violently threatened me.”
Jancowicz claimed she lost “peace with [her] son during his first year in the world” as a result of the outlet’s coverage.
“Fox can’t keep getting away with targeting Americans with their hateful rhetoric and lies,” she said. “Trying to silence professionals doing their jobs is not journalism. It’s vigilantism, and it’s ruining lives. That’s why I’m seeking justice.”
Jancowicz urged viewers to share her video with “anybody who believes in fighting for the truth,” and donate to her GoFundMe page titled, “Help Nina Hold Fox News Accountable for Its Lies.”