GOP war on truth targets fact checkers, disinformation researchers

An effort to make lies indistinguishable from truth

GOP war on truth targets fact checkers, disinformation researchers
Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash

“On Capitol Hill and in the courts, Republican lawmakers and activists are mounting a sweeping legal campaign against universities, think tanks and private companies that study the spread of disinformation…” (G.O.P. Targets Researchers Who Study Disinformation Ahead of 2024 Election, New York Times, June 19, 2023)

If you read one story today, make it this one. The Republican Party has launched an all-out war against fact checkers and those who study disinformation. Using lawsuits and congressional hearings, their campaign against the truth seeks to scare fact checkers and disinformation researchers into silence.

The objective is clear: To make it impossible to distinguish between lies and truth. By attacking journalists, fact checkers and disinformation researchers, the Republican Party telegraphs a desire to dismantle any means of discerning fact from fiction. This is crucial to its political strategy, which has become wholly dependent on the strategic use of lies about everything from elections to vaccines to whether John F. Kennedy Jr. is dead or alive.

We see this as the latest chapter in the conservative movement’s ongoing communications war against freedom and truth. Congressmen like Jim Jordan have weaponized government in an effort to harass and stigmatize the truth tellers who expose organized propaganda campaigns.

It will take a dedicated and organized strategy to defeat this outrageous attack on the truth and those who tell it. There will be more to say on that front. In the meantime, please keep an eye on this developing issue. Its outcome will be massively consequential to the future of our democracy.

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