follow Rew following
follow Rew 2017 Jul 12, 9:10pm
1,281 views 6 comments
... but F' this!
I need an alternative to my TDS ...
President Trump has brought the memory hole to the United States.Last week, Trump called on the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate news media outlets for their critical reporting of him. Their crime? Producing well-sourced, credible reporting that paints him in a negative light and is therefore “fake news.”Unfortunately, Trump’s Orwellian streak is not just rhetorical.More: Facts you don't like are not fake newsMore: Trump's moral failures are shredding America's global reputationThe Federal Emergency Management Agency last Thursday purged two statistics from its website: that 95% of Puerto Rico still lacked electricity and that nearly half the island lacked clean drinking water. Those stats didn’t mesh very well with Trump’s preferred narrative that he was getting “great marks” from Puerto Ricans. Those inconvenient statistics disappeared down the memory hole, while other stats that showed better progress — like the number of gas stations operating — were kept in place. (The statistics are now back up, after news media pressure-shamed the White House into restoring them.)A week earlier, Trump deleted countless tweets in which he unequivocally endorsed incumbent Sen. “Big Luther” Strange in the Alabama Republican primary. As soon as Strange lost to Roy Moore, the endorsement tweets disappeared as though they had never existed. Big Brother never gets it wrong — and Trump The Winner never backs a loser.Since taking office, Trump has scrubbed climate change from government websites as though it never existed and was always, as he previously claimed, “was created by and for the Chinese.” The Environmental Protection Agency took down its page dedicated to climate change in April. Researchers have grown fearful that such website deletions are a precursor to deleting or suppressing data.Already, one group of scientists leaked a climate report for fear that it would be buried by the government. They’re right to be worried; one outspoken climate scientist has been involuntarily reassigned to another role — as an accountant.Authoritarian governments use memory holes to great effect. In Zambia, I investigated a failed coup d’état attempt that took place in 1997. After foiling the plot, the government told the public that the soldier behind it was simply a drunken fool who got carried away on a night out. It was more convenient for the government to have people believe it was a fool and a drunk rather than a disgruntled member of a splintered military. But when I interviewed the person held at gunpoint during the coup attempt, she told me that the officer was certainly lucid and sober. Nonetheless, the government’s narrative took root. Zambians still believe it was a drunken plot.There are rumblings of these tactics in Trump’s America. It started with Sean Spicer and the side-by-side inauguration photos. Don’t believe your lying eyes. Period.The White House again told us not to trust our eyes by claiming that “there was nothing as far as we know that would lead anyone to believe” that the now infamous Donald Trump Jr. meeting at the Trump Tower wasn’t about adoption policy. We’ve seen the emails that prove otherwise.The administration doesn’t go so far as to airbrush undesirables out of photos as the Soviet Union did. But key Trump surrogate Michael Flynn, who later became Trump’s disgraced national security adviser, has now been referred to by the Trump camp as a former campaign volunteer. Paul Manafort, who managed Trump’s campaign for longer than Steve Bannon, has now been referred to as someone who played a “very limited role for a very limited amount of time.”''More: Is Donald Trump a moron? Duh.POLICING THE USA: A look at race, justice, mediaAnd after Trump’s funding to “build the wall!” was stripped from a budget bill, he claimed victory anyway with some alternative facts: “The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built.” Renovation of old, existing patchwork fencing became a new “WALL” that Trump previously claimed would be 30 feet tall and run the length of the border. Big Brother should be taking notes.Even the job numbers that were phony in the past, when they showed President Obama positively, but are “very real now” when they show Trump positively.Orwell nailed Trump. Big Brother got away with it because citizens accepted alternative facts and allowed themselves to be manipulated by false or selective information. We must not make the same mistake. Truth still matters, even if our government behaves like it is disposable.