Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Inside Bill Brady's Ministry of Truth

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    NEWSLETTERS

    In the novel 1984, when the Ministry of Truth wants to convince the public that Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia, its commisars have to comb through years of newspaper archives, rewriting every headline and every story.

    It’s easier to edit the past these days. All you have to do is edit Wikipedia and hit “Save.” At least, that’s what the Bill Brady campaign thinks.

    Brady has been trying to erase evidence of his right-wing past from cyberspace. A Brady supporter edited the candidate’s Wikipedia bio this week. Among the items that disappeared: “Brady believes that intelligent design should be taught in public schools 'through the principles of the Founding Fathers’ design' along with evolution.” It was replaced with campaign literature like this: “Since joining the Illinois House in 1993 and his appointment to the Illinois Senate in 2002, Brady has also worked with Democrats and others seeking to promote the best interests of Illinois.”

    Now, Brady’s sponsorship of a bill that would have amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage has disappeared from the Illinois General Assembly website [Or not: Rich Miller debunks this point here]. Brady co-sponsored the bill with State Sen. John O. Jones. But on the Bill Status page, only Jones is listed as a sponsor. Someone did a sloppy job of rewriting history, though. On the Full Text, the bill is listed as having been introduced by Brady.

    Brady is also learning that if you mess with the Internet, the Internet will return the favor. Not only has Brady’s Wikipedia page been restored to its original text, it now includes an item about his efforts to scrub the legislature’s website. (Check the page now, before a Brady staffer erases it.)

    Maybe Brady thought he’d learned a lesson from Mark Kirk about re-writing the past. Don’t lie about it. Just destroy any evidence that it ever happened.