The National Archives issued an apology and promised that they wouldn’t edit pictures in the future to remove criticism of Trump.
The National Archives faced public backlash after it was reported that they edited out criticism of Trump from pictures of the first Women’s March.
On Saturday afternoon, they apologized on Twitter:
We have removed the current display and will replace it as soon as possible with one that uses the unaltered image.
We apologize, and will immediately start a thorough review of our exhibit policies and procedures so that this does not happen again.
— US National Archives (@USNatArchives) January 18, 2020
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) said that America is in deep trouble if the national archivist was editing images to avoid angering Trump:
America-we are in deep trouble. When the US Archivist is willing to tamper with documents to avoid the ire of President Trump, we have crossed a red line in protecting the Constitution. What happens to the First Amendment if @POTUS doesn’t like what you are saying?
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) January 18, 2020
The apology and promise not to doctor images again too little, too late. The damage to the credibility of the National Archives has been done. It will take time to regain the trust of the public and to undo the consequences of a decision that never should have been made.
An archive must be a presentation of unaltered materials.
The National Archives made a big mistake, and without public pressure, their appeasement of Trump would have gone unchanged.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association