Orwellian Editing of the Congressional Record

This is the second instance I’ve heard of in the last six months wherein the Congressional Record has been edited to reflect a particular party’s views.

Whatever one thinks of Representative Brown’s statements, I find that kind of rewriting of official records to be extremely upsetting and believe them to be dangerous.

George Orwell’s famous warning that a powerful political party could rewrite history has once again been proven prophetic.

Just last Thursday, Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown chastised the House of Representatives for rejecting a request to allow the United Nations to monitor the 2004 presidential elections. In her speech, she accused House Republicans of helping Bush and Cheney steal the 2000 election in a coup d’etat, and she argued passionately that we could not let it happen again.

How did the House of Representatives respond? The Republican leadership accused her of being “out of order,” and the Republican majority shouted her down. Then the House Republicans went a step further and voted to have the congresswoman’s comments completely stricken from the Congressional Record. In a move too brazen even for Orwell’s Big Brother, the whole event was simply erased. Gone. Never happened.

Surprised you haven’t heard about it? Don’t be. The censure of Congresswoman Brown is an egregious abuse of power, not to mention a violation of the Congresswoman’s free speech, yet the event has been all but ignored by the corporate media. Although NBC did mention it the day after it occurred, their slant on the story was to focus merely on the “outburst” and the commotion it caused, rather than to address the dual issues of stolen elections and censored speech.

Video clips of Congresswoman Brown’s speech in the House are still available on the Web, but if you’d like to see them you’ll have to act quickly. The Party may soon move to remove and delete them. Try this link.

Brown later said: “Striking my words from the House floor is just one more example of the Republican Party’s attempt to try and cover up what happened during the 2000 election. When the words of Corrine Brown are stricken from the floor, so is the voice of her 600,000 constituents in Florida’s 3rd Congressional District.”

Want to DO something about this? The progressive website Buzzflash.com has provided the following list of actions you can take. The very first thing you should do, of course, is forward this message to everyone you know. Then get busy on the rest.

1. Write NBC news and suggest that this story wasn’t about an “outburst.” The story should have been about the fact that an elected Representative’s comments were stricken.

2. Write a letter to your favorite political TV show or political writer and ask them to cover this part of the story.

3. Write to your elected Representative and express your feelings about Brown’s comments being stricken. Be sure to emphasize that you support the original request for some kind of monitoring to occur. (See our recent newsletter on the subject election monitoring here.

4. Write Representative Brown. She could probably use some support.

Allow us to switch gears for a moment and turn to the subject of film. Our last newsletter mentioned several promising documentaries now playing around the nation. A number of subscribers quickly responded to inform us that we had neglected to mention a few.

Here is an updated list of progressive documentary films that present evidence and points of view that you’ll never get these days from the mainstream corporate media. We recommend that you not only see these films but that you gather friends and acquaintances to see the films together and to discuss them afterward.

Fahrenheit 9/11. Michael Moore deftly connects the dots between the Bush administration (and family), its oil wealth, and the Saudi monarchy. Say what you want about Mr. Moore’s ego; there’s still no denying his facts. Indeed, he has even posted his sources on the Web for all to see.

Control Room. A truly eye-opening behind-the-scenes look at the Al-Jazeera news network with a focus on how it covered the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Since its creation in 1996, Al-Jazeera has been reviled by Arab leaders and called “Osama bin-Ladin’s mouthpiece” by the U.S. government. Why so much venom for Al-Jazeera? Apparently because it tells the truth. This network reveals the true horrors of war by refusing to censor graphic images. It also offends national leaders by dutifully airing dissenting points of view. Yes, it has a pro-Arab bias, but what most Americans will find surprising from this film is the extent to which Al-Jazeera attempts to report the news impartially. Al-Jazeera, in
fact, comes far closer to the truth, at least with regard to Iraq, than most western news agencies.

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism. An excellent companion piece to Control Room, this film uses interviews with inside whistleblowers and FOX’s own film footage to reveal the network’s notorious right-wing bias and agenda. Typical of FOX’s style of reporting is its coverage of this documentary. Commenting on the film, FOX reporter Eric Shawn reported: “It’s unfair, it’s slanted, and it’s a hit job. And I haven’t even seen it yet.” Unfortunately, this film is not playing in theaters. Instead it is being distributed online, and MoveOn.org is asking people to organize house parties this Sunday, July 18, in which neighbors will gather together to view and discuss the film. (Sorry for the late notice!) If you’re interested in joining a house party, visit this web page and type in your zip code. Then choose
a party that’s convenient for you. (Incidentally, there’s a great piece on Bill O’Reilly’s story-spinning here, written by one of O’Reilly’s recent guests.)

The Corporation. Corporations dominate our world. More powerful than governments and religious organizations, corporations more than any other entity threaten our environment, health, financial security, and liberty. This new film documents the rise of the corporation and its pursuit of power and profits at the expense of literally everything else. In the wake of the Enron, Worldcom, Global Crossing, KPMG, Merrill Lynch, and Halliburton scandals (to name just a few), this film has never been more important. (See our own work on the dangers of corporate power here.)

Orwell Rolls in His Grave. What happens to truth and to our knowledge of history when only six huge and conservative corporations control what we see and hear on television and radio? We get a fulfillment of George Orwell’s dire prophecy about Big Brother, in which the government and the media conspire to keep the people in the dark. This new film examines the current media crisis and its likely effect on democracy.

If this message was forwarded to you by a friend and you would like to receive our newsletter directly, send an email to subscribe@theemailactivist.org.

To read some back issues, some book reviews, or to get advice on how to contact your elected representatives, visit us online.

Current Mood: 🙁worried
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
Posts created 4262

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top