As with many things, propaganda can be used for good or for ill, depending on who dispenses it. During World War II, American propaganda was considered a necessary tool in the pursuit of victory in a moral cause. Germany and Japan had their own propaganda machines to advance an evil agenda.

The Nazi propaganda effort was headed by Joseph Goebbels to whom the term “The Big Lie,” meaning if one tells a lie often enough people will come to believe it is true, has been attributed. American forces could listen to several women they called “Tokyo Rose,” whose Japanese propaganda was aimed at demoralizing troops by telling them they were losing the war.

In the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin employed newspapers, Pravda and Izvestia, and TV “news” shows to lie to his people. He and his successors used jamming devices to keep information from the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty from reaching Russian ears.

Now comes the announcement of a new office within the Department of Homeland Security to police “disinformation” and “misinformation.” Some critics are comparing it to the fictitious “Ministry of Truth” in George Orwell’s novel “1984.”

The new office will be headed by Nina Jankowicz who styles herself as Mary Poppins on TikTok (a social media platform owned by the Chinese communist government, a font of disinformation, which should be alarming). Didn’t Jankowicz spread disinformation about Hunter Biden’s laptop, which she said was a product of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign? Wasn’t it Jankowicz who joined fellow Democrats in claiming Trump “colluded” with Russia to help him win the presidency?

This new office should be considered a ministry of the worst kind of propaganda. It will likely focus on censoring or denying anything that makes the Biden administration and Democrats look any worse than they already do — a difficult task given their declining poll numbers.

Responding to the news of the Jankowicz appointment, Florida Gov. Ron De Santis said: “They want to be able to put out false narratives without people being able to speak and fight back, but we’re not going to let Biden get away with this one, so we will be fighting back.”

In other news

May is graduation month. Students, parents and friends celebrate the end of one process and the start of another. Once we finish with our formal education, we often forget that our learning should not end.

NORFOLK — Once again, I have to write about the changes to Johnson Park! I learned a couple days ago, that the plan is to change the ENTIRE park! The original plan, according to the Norfolk City Council, was to bring the park back to it’s “past glory!” Well, changing the entire park surely d…

President Biden on Tuesday delivered the first salvo of his re-engineered midterm message. Declaring that fighting inflation will be “my top domestic priority,” he said the two leading causes of rising prices are “a one-in-a-century pandemic” and “Mr. Putin’s war in Ukraine.” But that isn’t …