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Opening Arguments

Smoke and mirrors

Photojournalists have it pounded into them all the time now that just because digital technology makes it possible to easily maipulate photos, that doesn't mean it's ethical to do so. A few years ago, a newspaper photographer got fired for merely using Photoshop to make the evening sky in a photo background redder. But apparently, if you're a part of the anti-smoking crusade, there's no ethical problem with changing history. Everybody at the British museum where the cigarless Churchill was spotted claims astonishment over the alteration, which may mean somebody is at least too embarrassed to take credit. I could have sworn it was 2010, but the spirit of 1984 sure seems alive.

Churchill hated cigarettes ("Too many of those will kill you") but loved his cigars. He smoked between six and 10 a day down to a couple of inches. He is said to have told the non-smoking, non-drinking king of Saudia Arabia that his rule of life "prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and the drinking of alcohol." We can always count on the great ones, can't we?

"Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary."

-- "1984," Book 1, Chapter 3 

(From MailOnline via Instapundit)