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The Orwellian News

In the 1949 novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (pen name for Eric Arthur Blair), the protagonist Winston Smith has a job at the Ministry of Truth revising historical accounts to reflect the current policies of the government.

The current electronic reporting of the news on the Internet, particularly through the use of blogs, can make us all appreciate how precious and malleable truthful news is, and sometimes cause us to question whether we have seen a news item at all!

Such a moment happened to me tonight. I watched a news story on KTVU TV news and then tried to find it on their Web pages (and even through Google and other news sites), to have an actual reference. I could not find the story! KTVU has some excellent news, weather, and traffic coverage in the Bay Area, and I commend the station and its staff in striving for timely, accurate and unbiased news coverage.

The news article dealt with the ongoing RECORD-length absence of a state budget for California. There was an accompanying video (which I cannot find <but see below>) of Assemblyman Sandré Swanson (D-Oakland). Mr. Swanson has suggested that the 2/3 majority requirement for a budget be amended, a suggestion with which I disagreed and further commented upon earlier.

Then, I am CERTAIN that I saw (but cannot prove I saw) a video of Mr. Swanson making the suggestion that “they lock us <the Calfornia Legislature> in” until a budget is passed.

Well, IF Mr. Swanson MADE that statement, I agree with it wholeheartedly. IF he did not, I apologize. The only video that I could find on the KTVU site dealing with the ongoing budget impasse was of school children, parents and teachers protesting in Walnut Creek.

Leaders should share the pain of the folks whom they lead. If Mr. Swanson made the suggestion that the California Legislature be “locked in” until a budget is passed, GREAT! Such a statement clearly shows his leadership. If he did not, I will make the suggestion HERE. The greater-than-two-month-beyond-deadline budget impasse has gone on long enough.

(Update September 6, 2008, 10:21 PM PDT: Since “we’re all mad here,” it is reassuring to know that my memory is correct. The video of Mr. Swanson suggesting that the California Legislature be “locked in” until a budget is passed was replayed on the 10 PM news on KTVU TV. I would ask the channel to update its Web site.)

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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