It’s a move that should be familiar to students of Orwell, but as a picture of establishment media propaganda, it’s in a class by itself.
USA Today, the Democratic Party organ that masquerades as a national newspaper in the United States, has rarely been shy about its liberal leanings in recent years — its first presidential endorsement in its almost 40-year history was to push Democrat Joe Biden in November.
But the memory-hole trick it was just caught pulling to benefit Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams — and by extension Abrams’ party — is one to remember.
As most Americans remember, Abrams is the unsuccessful candidate for governor of Georgia who has spent the years since her 2018 defeat gamely pretending she didn’t actually lose.
The pretense has given her a place in the public eye, and even kept her in the conversation about being a potential running mate for whatever candidate emerged from the scrum of the 2019-20 Democratic primary battle.
Given her high profile in Georgia politics, Abrams was uniquely positioned to pen an influential opinion piece about the Georgia voting law that has brought down liberal wrath on the Peach State and caused Major League Baseball to move its 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta, costing an estimated $100 million in business to the largely black Georgia capital.
Abrams did write such a piece for USA Today, which was originally published on March 31. In its original form (archived here), it took a fairly centrist view of the idea of businesses boycotting Georgia.
The piece acknowledged that a boycott of Georgia businesses would cause economic pain, but also made clear that a boycott of the state was something that could be envisioned.
“I have no doubt that voters of color, particularly Black voters, are willing to endure the hardships of boycotts. But I don’t think that’s necessary — yet,” she wrote.
That sentence appears in a vastly different paragraph in the version USA Today calls an “update.” Now it’s an outright attack, blaming Republicans for a boycott liberals fostered.
“I have no doubt that voters of color, particularly Black voters, are willing to endure the hardships of boycotts,” Abrams’ revised column states after being run through a mainstream media outlet’s Ministry of Truth. “But such monetary loss is unlikely to affect the stubborn, frightened Republicans who see voter suppression as their only way to win. Money isn’t quite as seductive as political power to these putative leaders.”
And then there’s the sentence that directly follows, a categorical opposition to a boycott of Georgia over the voting law, and implicit criticism of MLB’s decision, that was nowhere to be found in Abrams’ first stab at taking a “stand.”
“Instead of a boycott, I strongly urge other events and productions to do business in Georgia and speak out against our law and similar proposals in other states,” she wrote.
Remember, this was written after the MLB’s spineless Commissioner Rob Manfred had already announced the All-Star Game was moving — causing immediate, verifiable economic damage to exactly the kind of voters Democrats claim to be concerned about.
It was also apparently after Abrams and her Democratic Party started to realize exactly how bad their preening was actually affecting a population they depend on politically and went into damage-control mode.
So, essentially, USA Today allowed a big-name politician of the Democratic Party to literally alter her written opinion on a matter of national concern after the facts had changed — and changed considerably. In any honest account, that constitutes a lie.
Abrams wasn’t at war with East Asia, apparently, until she was always at war with East Asia.
To make matters worse, the newspaper didn’t even acknowledge that the column had been “updated” until April 22, two weeks after the rewrite took place, according to Fox News.
The delay was an “oversight,” a spokeswoman for Gannett, USA Today’s parent company, told Fox. (Amazing, isn’t it, how mistakes and “oversights” in the mainstream media and with social media giants always seem to benefit Democrats or liberal storylines? It’s uncanny, really.)
“We regret the oversight in updating the Stacey Abrams column,” the spokeswoman told Fox. “As soon as we recognized there was no editor’s note, we added it to the page to reflect her changes. We have reviewed our procedures to ensure this does not occur again.”
(“As soon as we recognized” sounds like a Newspeak translation of “As soon as we got caught…”)
Even in the liberal cesspool of social media these days, quite a few users weren’t buying it:
“Editor’s note: This column was originally published before the MLB moved the All-Star game out of Atlanta. It was updated after that decision.”
This is an op-ed column. You don’t update an op-ed column just because stuff happened later. @usatodayopinion has a lot to answer for.
— Jim Stinson (@jimstinson) April 27, 2021
I wonder if they will let me publish an NFL mock draft and let me “update” it on Sunday.
— Mark Felten (@MFelten25) April 27, 2021
What a disgusting move to protect a pol from being criticized for her harmful rhetoric.
— Ryan Kane (@rykane) April 27, 2021
Down the memory hole, huh @USATODAY. Good job, Journalists!
— KilroyFSU (@KilroyFSU) April 27, 2021
Every one of these comments is dead on.
While there might occasionally be a need to update an opinion piece with a notification that it was created prior to major events pertaining to its topic, that’s a service to the reader — a matter of providing perspective.
In the Abrams’ case, the purpose of the extensive rewrite was exactly the opposite: It was a service to the writer, to distort the context in which the words were written to provide a deliberate falsification of the record for political purposes.
And the beauty of it — for USA Today editors and the liberal Democrats supported by the paper, at least — is that there was barely an acknowledgment that any change had taken place at all.
It seemed all too familiar:
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered,” Orwell wrote in probably the most famous, and ominous, lines of the dystopian classic “1984.”
“And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
And it’s the one that will face American voters in less than two years. It needs to pay a price.
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