January 31st, 2017
The ascent to the top began earlier this week when Donald Trump’s adviser, Kellyanne Conway, reportedly coined the term “alternative facts” after she was asked to explain the reason for press secretary Sean Spicer making a statement to reporters that was filled with inaccuracies.
The 68 year old novel is famous for inventing a new concept of ‘newspeak’, which was a language that was designed by the government to influence the way in which people think through the use of the words that were available to them. The language which is promoted in the book by a government department that is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism called the Ministry of Truth, limits free thought and prevents any ‘thought crimes’.
As ‘Counselor to the President’, Conway’s comments that were made in an interview last week were referred to by a number of journalists as “Orwellian”, whilst comparing them to the famous novel, which has been said to be the reason for the influx of book sales. This has also resulted in an urgency for the publisher, Penguin, to print many more copies, as booksellers have been unable to meet demands.
A Penguin spokesman told CNN on Tuesday, “ We put through a 75,000 copy reprint this week. That is a substantial reprint and larger than our typical reprint for ‘1984’ ”. While Orwell’s novel does sell continuously, due to it being a classroom text in many schools and universities, such a huge reprint is very unusual.
Nielsen BookScan, a data provider that measures a huge proportion of book sales in the US, said that 1984 has sold 47,000 copies in print since the U.S. Election Day in November. This is an increase of 30% compared to sales of 36,000 during the same timeframe the previous year. However, despite these huge sales figures, new sales since Inauguration Day are not yet included in their data, meaning that there has been an even bigger influx than the originally stated 30%.
According to CNN, a similar influx of sales of 1984 occurred back in 2013, during the time of the leaks by Edward Snowden, which meant that the huge topic of National Security Agency surveillance was greatly covered by the media.
Orwellian Doublespeak: Kellyanne Conway on ‘Meet the Press’
According to Conway, Press Secretary Sean Spicer didn’t lie, he simply provided “alternative facts”.
- The Dangers of Institutional Thinking – Lessons from 1984, The Matrix, and The Allegory of The Cave
- The “Fake News” List: The Orwellian War on Journalism and Skepticism
About the author:
Jess Murray is a wildlife conservationist and writer who has spent a lot of time working and studying in South Africa. She is now striving to spread awareness about global conservation issues and the truth behind faux conservation facilities throughout the world.