Why do we let liars rewrite their own history?

I know our political elites treat George Orwell's 1984 like an instruction manual, but can they at least pretend to care about the truth?

This particular excerpt comes to mind:

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. 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.

Obviously, this is nothing new. We've been changing records, books, and statues for years. But now they're so completely shameless that history is altered in real-time for even the most minor reasons.

First, it was Kristi Noem, who (in addition to recounting tales of killing puppies and goats like she's a Walking Dead villain) wrote about meeting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. When it was pointed out (and not for the first time) that this wasn't true, it was announced that this passage would be removed from her book (again ... a book with her name listed as author).

Why did she write it in the first place, you may ask. Who cares! It's gone, so you should just move on.

Now, Jen Psaki (the latest in the revolving door between the White House and propaganda media) is repeating this trick, removing a passage from her new book (ironically titled Say More) detailing the time Joe Biden famously checked his watch throughout the dignified transfer of remains ceremony for 13 American service members killed during his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Psaki, a supposed warrior against misinformation, wrote that Biden "looked at his watch only after the ceremony had ended. Moments later, he and the First Lady headed toward their car." Unfortunately for Psaki, her claim flies in the face of fact-checks written at the time, photographs taken during the ceremony, and on-the-record statements from Gold Star families in attendance.

Here's one example from Mark Schmitz, the father of Marine Lance Corporal, Jared Schmitz: "While I stood there on the tarmac watching you check your watch over and over again, all I wanted to do was shout out, 'It's two f***ing thirty, asshole.'"

Psaki's response now that she's been caught red-handed? The "detail in a few lines of the book about the exact number of times he looked at his watch will be removed in future reprints and the ebook."

The story on Afghanistan is really about the importance of delivering feedback even when it is difficult told through my own experience of telling President Biden that his own story of loss was not well received by the families who were grieving their sons and daughters.

I'm not sure that even makes sense.

We all know that politicians and their press secretaries lie. It's in the job description for many of them!

Here's the real problem: The removal of falsehoods from books doesn't erase the author's responsibility for those falsehoods.

These days, it's as if erasing history of wrongdoing is sufficient apology for that wrongdoing. When they're eventually caught, all they have to do is get rid of the evidence like it was an embarrassing drunk text. And, because we have the collective attention span of a goldfish with ADHD, we let them get away with it.

Instead, we should make liars wear the shame of their lies.

If we allow them to rewrite their own history, then what hope does our history have?

Follow Ian on Substack and X (@ighaworth).

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Not the Bee or any of its affiliates.


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