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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Orwell was 'Reality-Based'

(Keywords: , , , the is a war on truth)

Thanks to The Huffington Post for bringing this story from the Washington Examiner to our attention:

New White House Press Secretary Tony Snow is starting off in a combative mode against the press by issuing detailed rebuttals to what he considers unfair coverage of Bush.

“The New York Times continues to ignore America’s economic progress,” blared the headline of an e-mail sent to reporters Wednesday by the White House press office.

About CBS New, Snow wrote, “CBS News misleadingly reports that only 8 million seniors have signed up for Medicare prescription drug coverage. But 37 million seniors have coverage.”

And he hits USA Today with, “USA Today claims ‘poor, often minority’ Medicare beneficiaries are not enrolling in Medicare drug coverage. But by April, more than 70 percent of eligible African Americans, more than 70 percent of eligible Hispanics, and more than 75 percent of eligible Asian Americans are enrolled or have retiree drug coverage.”

It's a familiar whine; everything's great, it's the press that makes things look bad. Does Snow and the White House really expect us to fall for a line that has failed so far?

In March of this year, Dick Cheney told CBS's Face the Nation, "I think it has less to do with the statements we've made, which I think were basically accurate and reflect reality, than it does with the fact that there's a constant sort of perception, if you will, that's created because what's newsworthy is the car bomb in Baghdad. It's not all the work that went on that day in 15 other provinces in terms of making progress towards rebuilding Iraq." I.e., we aren't getting the 'good news' from Iraq.

On Newsweek's revelations of disrespect for the quran in interrogating detainees, the administration's line was that the fault lied with Newsweek, not with the actual abuse. Newsweek pulled the story under pressure from the right, but The New York Times confirmed it using FBI documents.

Journalist Ron Suskind quotes an unnamed Bush administration official.

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

The truth is the enemy. George Orwell had his ultimate dictatorship tell its people, "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." The Bush administration adds, "Reality is a lie."