The federal government keeps creating new offices to allegedly combat misinformation in the US and abroad, but are any of these agencies actually doing anything good? The answer to that question is fairly obvious, and it is clear what these government agencies are actually doing. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: The federal government keeps creating new offices to allegedly combat misinformation in the US and abroad. But are any of these agencies actually doing any good? The answer to that question is obvious. They’re spying on us. This is, you scare the hell out of everybody. The Russians are coming. The Chinese are coming. We have to do this to protect you. It’s so Orwellian. And I guess, you know, it’s not required reading kind of the old classics about this very kind of thing. It’s right on point. But right now this is, this is like a, this is speeding up like a fast train, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins: It is. We’ve got five or six, I think at this point that we know of, federal agencies whose only purpose is to go out and allegedly identify misinformation. But each one has a little bit different mission because some of them say, well, we also have to, uh, you know, combat the negative image of the United States, which means we spread propaganda abroad saying how great the US is.

Mike Papantonio: You and I, you know this story, you and I, what was it, Suzanne? I forget.

Farron Cousins: Spaulding, Spaulding was her last name.

Mike Papantonio: Spaulding, Suzanne Spaulding. We were attacked. Now think about it. We were attacked for talking about judges, talking about the DOJ, talking about the military complex. And we were called Un-American for doing that. As a matter of fact, I don’t know if I can, you know, walk through an airport without being that person who is, oh sir, you’re random, you’re a random choice. Come over here and let us frisk you. The point is this. Let’s name ’em. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, ODNI. The other thing is the Homeland Security DHS has its Foreign Interference branch. You’ve got the Influence Perception Management Office.

Farron Cousins: Perception Management, is such a.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, perception. That’s the key word, isn’t it? You’ve got the US intelligence community that has all these sub-parts to it. And it just seems to be fine with everybody. I mean, hell, I don’t care. I mean, if they, you know, the point is I’m not doing anything wrong, but that’s not what it’s really about. That’s what, you know, we have a Constitution and the Constitution gave us some unique independence as individuals. And the problem is, if you’ve never taken a civics class, you don’t understand that. So this doesn’t seem to be a problem. Right?

Farron Cousins: Right. And the bigger, not bigger, but another big problem with this is that we’re also funneling tens of million, if not hundreds of millions of dollars into these agencies every single year. And none of them that we know of, none of them that anybody can point to have actually been able to say, hey, look, we did a good thing. Look at this victory we have. No, because they’re operating in the shadows and their mission statements of identifying misinformation, that’s not what they’re about.

Mike Papantonio: Well, I mean.

Farron Cousins:This is surveillance. Plain and simple.

Mike Papantonio: This is well, this article is well done. It’s.

Farron Cousins: It’s former representative Hoekstra.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Okay. Hoekstra says, the American government is based on the First Amendment, should not be anywhere near regulating protected speech. And the American government should not be deciding what speech should be regulated according to their own taste. That’s where we are. I mean, call it what you want. That’s where we are. You pointed out one time, it’s become such a cash cow, we don’t even know where the money’s going.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, agency makes a claim. It’s like this big money grab. Yeah, scare the hell out of everybody. Make everybody believe there’s a boogieman under the bed. Whether it’s a Russian boogeyman or a Chinese boogeyman. Somebody’s coming to get you. And if we don’t do this, you’re in peril. That’s the pitch, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins: Well, and think of this too. You know, because we had talked about this during the Bush administration when they were working with the cell phone companies to turn over your data, they don’t even have to do that anymore. Because now back then we didn’t have a YouTube or a Twitter or a Facebook. Now we’re all putting our data out there in real time, every day. And that’s what makes it so much easier for these groups to spy on us.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. And they’re scraping everything. And they’re saying, well, we’re getting only public information. That’s ridiculous.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. It’s a lie.

Mike Papantonio: They’re not only getting public information when your phone, if you talk about I want to buy a new car, your phone blows up with new cars. That’s what’s really going on.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.