Ed Driscoll

Dispatches From The Ministry Of Hairplugs

Sixty years ago, a Mr. E. Blair wrote:

In the walls of [Winston’s] cubicle there were three orifices. To the right of the speakwrite, a small pneumatic tube for written messages, to the left, a larger one for newspapers; and in the side wall, within easy reach of Winston’s arm, a large oblong slit protected by a wire grating. This last was for the disposal of waste paper. Similar slits existed in thousands or tens of thousands throughout the building, not only in every room but at short intervals in every corridor. For some reason they were nicknamed memory holes. When one knew that any document was due for destruction, or even when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory hole and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building.

Just as Orwell’s Ministry of Information was more concerned with destroying its namesake product instead of archiving it, today’s news media seems much more obsessed with keeping big stories out the news than shining a light on them. (See also: Edwards, John; Ayers, William.) Similarly, Wikipedia occasionally can seem to function as a modern-day memory hole, to borrow from this Hot Air headline.

Over at Newsbusters, they’ve spotted two examples of Joe Biden-inspired Wikipedia weirdness: first, Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign Wikipedia page is worked over, and now an inconvenient year for Biden is quietly moved to where Biden’s endorsement of McCain for Kerry’s veep in 2004 is less obviously visible.

Related: “Liberal Writer Saw Biden as a Disaster Last Year.”