When Joseph Stalin began into his Axl Rose-like descent into maniacal paranoia, he had comrades who “betrayed” him not only murdered, but wiped from the pages of history, as well. His propaganda squad would use literally erase Stalin’s ex-henchmen from photographs in an attempt to purge even the memory of his enemies from the collective consciousness. Of course, Russians drink so much vodka that resorting to this crude revisionism was probably unnecessary, but I guess Uncle Joe was kind of a dictator about stuff like that.
So, flash-forward a few decades and look who’s taking an exacto knife to the history books now: the anti-smoking crowd. According to the UK’s Daily Mail, a British museum features a giant poster of Winston Churchill above the main entrance – but his iconic cigar has been Photoshopped out! Not only is this unsavory from a historical standpoint, but now Churchill looks like Dick Cheney. (If Dick Cheney wasn’t a draft dodger.)
According to the article, the origin of the Photoshopped image is “a mystery,” but this isn’t the first time that the anti-smoking lobby airbrushed a famous stogie. On the cover of a British school textbook, a cigar was removed from the mouth of a renowned engineer to avoid “offense.” Now, I’m not trying to stand up for the tobacco industry – I would be totally fine if BP used the bodies of Big Tobacco execs to stuff up the oil geyser in the Gulf. However, let’s leave revising historical record to psychotic totalitarians, shall we?
Speaking of creepy fascists (what a coincidence!) The Washington Times ran a Photoshopped photo of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan wearing a turban today. This fraudulent picture was apparently meant to illustrate neo-con Frank Gaffney’s conspiracy theory masquerading as an op-ed involving Shariah law, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wall Street bailout. The only thing that makes less sense to me than the logic of this article is the fact that Gaffney – who previously tried to blame Saddam Hussein for the ’93 World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings – somehow runs a “think tank.”