Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Rewriting History

The Orwellian attempts of the Bush Administration to promote their policies by distortion of the truth has been frequently discussed. NPR’s All Things Considered reports on the most recent example of this in a report on the Pentagon planting pro-U.S. stories in the Iraqi press.

We’ve also seen how promotion of an alternate reality is assisted by the right wing noise machine, such as with Fox News replicating the practices of Pravda as they quickly flipped from an anti-administration stance to becoming a White House propaganda organ when George Bush became President. While not as significant, this promotion of an alternate reality also remains common in the right wing blogosphere. In the fantasy world created by right wing bloggers, WMD has been found in Iraq and Osama Bin Laden’s phone number is right there on Saddam’s speed dial. Most likely we’ll soon find “evidence” that the two were instant messaging each other during the 9/11 attacks (while their hero was reading My Pet Goat.)

Right wing blogs are packed with claims which are counter to reality. Many still have count downs waiting for the day when John Kerry will release his military records, oblivious to the fact that this was done long ago, and ignoring the failure of George Bush to do the same. One recent attempt to change reality occured on Wikipedia, which strives to present objective information on many topics, including swiftboating.

As those who read the comments on the Unofficial Kerry Blog might be aware, yesterday a new definition of swiftboating was added, redefining it with a right wing fantasy view starting with, “Swiftboating is American political jargon for truthful and accurate debunking of John Kerry’s exaggerated military experience in Vietnam.”

The powers that be at Wikipedia removed this bogus definition. Their entry seems to change by the hour. Earlier they included one line which sums up the controversy: “All available military records support Senator Kerry’s accounts of his own service.”

While we condemn the actions on the right to rewrite history, it is unfortunate that the same continues from some bloggers on the left. Arguments frequently posted that Kerry supported the war, or conceded before all the votes were counted, are as irrational and uninformed as the right wing claims that Saddam was behind 9/11 or that we benefit from fighting terrorists in Iraq as this prevents us from needing to do so here.


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