NYT slammed for urging Biden to appoint 'reality czar' to fight lies, Internet recalls '1984's Ministry of Truth'

NYT slammed for urging Biden to appoint 'reality czar' to fight lies, Internet recalls '1984's Ministry of Truth'
The New York Times is urging President Joe Biden to appoint a 'reality czar' to lead the fight against 'disinformation and domestic extremism' (Getty Images)

Misinformation and domestic extremism are major challenges for the new administration of President Joe Biden. And one way to tackle this menace, according to experts, is by setting up a task force.

The New York Times came up with an article on February 2 which it cited "experts" who called on the “the Biden administration (to) put together a cross-agency task force to tackle disinformation and domestic extremism, which would be led by something like a “reality czar”.

Penned by Kevin Roose, the NYT piece titled ‘How the Biden Administration Can Help Solve Our Reality Crisis’ says: “This task force could also meet regularly with tech platforms, and push for structural changes that could help those companies tackle their own extremism and misinformation problems. For example, it could formulate “safe harbor” exemptions that would allow platforms to share data about QAnon and other conspiracy theory communities with researchers and government agencies without running afoul of privacy laws. And it could become the tip of the spear for the federal government’s response to the reality crisis.”

George Orwell's book '1984' (Getty Images)


The task of the “reality czar” would be to lead “a centralized task force could coordinate a single, strategic response” to topics such as Covid and election fraud “conspiracy theories”. However, the critics were not convinced and compared such a task force with the idea of having a Ministry of Truth as mentioned in George Orwell’s ‘1984’ — a dystopian social science fiction. 



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Raheem Kassam, a conservative British political activist and the editor-in-chief of The National Pulse, tweeted saying: “Ah, the Ministry of Truth. I’ve been waiting for this one”.




Orwell’s novel from 1949 speaks about the Ministry of Truth that decides what is “truth” in Oceania, irrespective of the actual reality, and uses this monopoly over reality by falsifying the nature of historical events, the Summit News said in a report. 

“The Ministry of Truth also uses this power monopoly to redefine the very word “truth” under the rubric of Newspeak, so “truth” becomes whatever the government-approved version of events is in that moment,” the conservative outlet added.




New York Times faces a backlash

The Summit News article slammed the NYT saying if “conspiracy theories” really pose a sinister threat to the society, who is accountable for “pushing the most egregious disinformation”?
It said the most harmful of the “conspiracy theories” — like Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction that were never found or supporting jihadists in Libya and Syria as “freedom fighters” — were always peddled by the mainstream media. It added that the corporate press pushed these two theories that led to a war that not only killed several people but also resulted in an international migrant crisis.

“The New York Times was one of the most prominent outlets that amplified both these damaging deceptions and yet they faced no consequences whatsoever,” the Summit News report added. 

It said such “lies” are far more dangerous for society since the mainstream media networks have the biggest platforms and since they share a common and mutual consensus narrative, there is little scope to question them.  

Saying that even Roose found the idea of having a “reality czar” a “little dystopian”, the Summit News article said things would worsen if there was truly an independent “reality czar” since its very existence would be based around distorted reality.


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