Wall Street Journal Lapses Into Newspeak When It Comes to Guns

So there I was quickly scanning my newspapers last Thursday morning while riding a Yellow Line Metro train from Huntington Station in Fairfax County toward the River City, also known as the District of Columbia.

Ahaauhhh!??? I exclaimed.

Heads turned on that quiet morning train filled with freshly scrubbed but tired commuters.

Red faced, I did not dare look up as I incredulously read the newspaper correction over and over:

"U.S. law-enforcement officials have seen a spike in heavy-caliber rifles heading to Mexico. A World News article Saturday incorrectly quoted William D. Newell of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives describing a spike in machine guns. "Machine gun" is a technical term for a classification of a firearm that doesn’t describe the type of weapon he was referring to."

This correction was printed on page 2 of the Wall Street Journal on March 5, 2009, and made me feel like I had slipped into an Orwellian world of “newspeak.” You know, the language being promoted by the ruling elites of England in Orwell’s book 1984. Newspeak is closely based on English but has a greatly reduced and simplified vocabulary and grammar whose aim is to make any alternative thinking impossible by removing any words or possible constructs which describe the ideas of freedom, rebellion and so on.

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March 9, 2009