In George Orwell's 1984, the purpose of Newspeak, according to a website
devoted to its study, was not only to provide a medium of expression for the
world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all
other modes of thought impossible.
Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression
to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding
all other meaning and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods.
This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating
undesirable words and stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings,
and so far as possible of all secondary meaning whatever.
Media Matters carried two items today
that provide examples of Newspeak not in the fictional world of 1984, but in
the modern day news cycle of 2006.
During ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas' introduction of George Stephanopoulos's
preview of the 2006 State of the Union address, ABC carried text beneath an
onscreen picture (see above) of Bush labeled, "America's Agenda."
The boot-licking lapdogs' attempt to unify Americans behind Bush's mandate
before his grandiose yet reality avoiding speech flies in the face of recent
polls showing Bush's approval
rating in the low 40's and a January 29 ABC News/Washington Post poll showing
a majority of the American people disapproving
of his performance on nearly every major issue.
In addition, White House spin strategists have embarked on a clear campaign
to offset anger over revelations of the NSA illegally spying on American citizens
by calling the action a 'terrorist surveillance program' - after all, who's
against listening to Osama bin Laden's phone calls right? Let's just not mention
the fact that only nine so-called terrorists, out of the thousands detained
without trial, including American citizens, have even been charged and none
of them charged with terrorist offences. Don't talk about the fact that 70-90%
of those taken to internment camps in Iraq were terrorist suspects for the crime
of not showing their papers at checkpoints.
By changing the terms of address from 'domestic spying' to 'terrorist surveillance'
- the meaning is altered. This is classic Newspeak.
Imagine my shock when it came to light that Fox News had prostrated itself
in front of the government and adopted lockstep the 'terrorist surveillance
program' rhetoric on its news broadcasts.
On January 24th's Fox and Friends - a mish-mash of celebrity mindlessness
with lavish breakfast helpings of government worship interspersed, the issue
was referred to as the 'terrorist surveillance program' as it was on the following
day's O'Reilly Factor.
E.D. Hill and Steven Doocy of Fox and Friends agreed that 'terrorist surveillance
program' "sounded better" and resolved to use it in all future discussions
of the issue. There is no truth to the rumor that during the same segment the
co-hosts concurred that 'President' wasn't an adoring enough term for George
W. Bush and that he should in future be referred to as 'Supreme Leader In All
His Infinite Wisdom and Love.'
The origin of the 'terrorist surveillance program' term was tracked down to
Internet blowhards Newsmax, who never came across an 'Iraqi WMD Moved To Syria,
Let's Bomb 'Em' story they didn't like.
The White House included it ten times in a January 22nd press release and the
sycophantic lackeys of the lamestream media have marched to the drumbeat ever