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Rewriting History

by RonChusid

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.

11 Responses to “Rewriting History”

  1. I see the LA Times also reported today on the planting of stories in the Iraqi press.

  2. Great story Ron.
    I do believe that the left has engaged in this practice, though much less effective and perhaps infiltrated by right-wing monkey wrenchers, or dare I say “swiftboaters”

  3. Yep and so did my newspaper. I think this is horrendous and I don’t know why it wasn’t on the front page. I mean you are right–this is Orwellian to say the least and completely UnAmerican and Unconsitutional and just plain wrong.


  4. And I saw this story on the Pentagon’s planted articles was on Keith Olbermann.

  5. If I don’t hear the word “swift boat” again it will be to soon. The bad thing is Kerry is forever linked to this word thanks to those freakin liars and rove.
    I know I may be in the minority but I’ve always felt Kerry sould have sued the bastards whether he won or not. This word will be around in 08 and he will have to contend with it again so he and his advisers better come up with a course of action to neutralize it. As for Wilpekia, is there no where on the web where the GOP rats can’t infest with their filth. They should have isued an apology to the senator for the so called mishap.
    It’s a shame that people still believe he didn’t get the medals fair and square.

  6. Pen

    It’s a catch 22 I guess – JK being able to sue.

  7. I was really hoping one of Kerry’s swift boat crew or Jim Rassmann would sue them.

    The slime boaters for Bush also slandered every member of Kerry’s crew and Jim with their lies and attacks on JK. By their attacks, they were also saying JK’s crew and Jim were also lying and that Jim lied when he wrote JK up for his medal for saving his life.

  8. Dave from Princeton

    I hear you. I was hoping the same thing.

  9. Pen,

    Actually I’m happy when I hear the term “swift boat” as long as it is used in the context of dishonest attacks. People will never forget the attacks on Kerry, so better that the idea spread that he was the target of lies.

  10. True Ron, but when the press harps on the word swift boat it seems they are mocking kerry. Dave, I was hoping one of the crew mates would have sued to because they were trashing all of them ot just kerry.

  11. Vindication for Wikipedia

    The world’s largest encyclopedia, and one of my favorite online resources, Wikipedia, has been in the news a lot recently. The first issue of note was the recent edit war over the Swiftboating entry with bloggers on both the left and right side…