We are in a literally Orwellian world now. Until a couple of days ago the headline on this Washington Post story from February 2020 read:Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked.
Now it reads:Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus fringe theory that scientists have disputed.
Democracy dies in darkness, but stealth editing thrives there. That's Orwell 101 - although one assumes whichever of Bezos's woeful hacks was ordered to do it was unaware of his literary antecedents, or self-respect would have required him to seek alternative, less pitiful employment. Nevertheless, as you'll know if you heard my serialization of Nineteen Eighty-Four, that was literally Winston Smith's job - to go into the archives and rewrite past editions of the newspapers to conform to the needs of the present. And to ensure that versions of the past less helpful to the regime get, in one of Orwell's many brilliant coinages, "memory-holed".
Our chaps haven't been memory-holing quite as long, so they're not as smooth and assured about it as Winston Smith's Ministry of Truth. Commissar Zuckerberg's Facebook will now permit you to suggest that the ChiCom-19 may have "escaped" from a lab - in contrast to the rules a week or so back, when so much as raising the possibility got your account vaporized. Wikipedia isn't quite so quick on the uptake: as I write, the lab-leak origin of the WuFlu still comes under "Covid-19 misinformation" as a theory used "to stoke anti-China sentiments". But presumably the lads are modifying even as I speak.
For the media to use "Democracy dies in darkness" while stifling, erasing, and outlawing any opinion but their own is Gaslighting. Someone at the Washington Post was given the job of rewriting past editions of the paper to conform to the needs of the present. It doesn't get to be more Orwellian than that.
The only question is: who is Big Brother? We know who that the Party is the Democrats.
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