Sunday, June 17, 2007

The History That the Winners Write

Thanks to the N&O and AP, we now know that staffers for The Guv got to substantially rewrite the entry on their boss in a state-funded history of N.C.'s governors, massaging the entry into something closely resembling hagiography.

A new edition of "The Governors of North Carolina" was published in March by the Department of Cultural Resources. According to The Guv's press office, they were ASKED to "review and edit" the entry on Easley, and they DID ... rewriting more than two-thirds of the article and in the process making these changes (among others):

They left out completely Easley's failed run for the U.S. Senate in 1990.

They deleted a section saying that as a child Easley had a reputation for "making mischief."

They deleted a reference to Easley's taking office "in the long shadow of James B. Hunt Jr."

They added a comment that Easley inherited a budget shortfall from his predecessor.

They added a patriotic statement by Easley.

They inserted a section that said Easley "successfully led" the state to "a new global economy."

They inserted a reference to USAToday's saying Easley was one of the most effective anti-drug governors.

Yadda yadda yadda. What they wrote was a third longer than the 1,000 word limit, and they complained when the book's editors started cutting it down. Finally, to cover themselves, the editors added a statement to the book's preface admitting that The Guv's lackeys had a BIG hand in writing his entry.

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