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.
Gee, it's almost like they all got the same fax from head office. So what was a fortnight back a conspiracy theory that could not be mentioned is now acceptable in polite Zuck-policed society. Not because any new proof has emerged one way or the other: there has always been more evidence for a Covid lab leak than for the bat theory, not least because the relevant bats live a thousand miles from the Wuhan wet market.
When you boil it right down, the fledermaus theory of the WuFlu rests mainly on "scientist" Peter Daszak. Mr Daszak is this season's omnipresent British subject: He is to bats what Christopher Steele is to Russians; his job is to maintain them as the McGuffin.
So, on the one hand, Peter Daszak is the US government's principal middle-man (via the "non-profit" EcoHealth Alliance, which he heads) for funneling American tax dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. His principal research activity for the last decade has been coronavirus gain-of-function projects with Shi Zhengli, the lady who heads said institute in Wuhan.
On the other hand, Peter Daszak was also the only "American" member of the team the WHO sent to China to "investigate" the source of the virus. He was the organizer of the letter from twenty-seven virologists to The Lancet saying ChiCom-19 was of natural origin. And he was the "expert" relied on by Zuckerberg to ban lab-leak chit-chat on Facebook.
In none of these activities did he disclose his conflict of interest - that the institution he was absolving was his principal business partner, and run by his closest professional colleague, who has denied, risibly, that any of her employees ever got sick from the WuFlu, and certainly not in the fall of 2019.
So, if you're one of those who appealed to Zuckerberg to let you have your Facebook page back, well, good luck with that: That's like appealing your alimony to a judge who's dating your ex-wife.
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