It's down the Orwellian memory hole for the old speeches and writings of U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons, who was forced to admit last week he'd plagiarized a right-wing diatribe against hippies, Birkenstock-wearers, and tree huggers from a not-terribly-creative-but-nonetheless-copyrighted rant written by the Alabama state auditor.
Visitors to the "speeches" section of Gibbons' Web site were greeted with a blank page Sunday. Ditto for the congressman's "monthly column."
Could it be that Gibbons' staffers were anxiously reviewing every line of his writings, hoping and praying they didn't come across any familiar lines? After all, another plagiarism incident could seriously wound Gibbons' heretofore bulletproof candidacy for Nevada governor in 2006.
Chief of Staff Amy Spanbauer dismissed that notion, and blamed technical issues, not anything more sinister. "We are trying to make our site printer-friendly and some content had to come down as a result. We hope to have all issues resolved soon," she wrote in response to an e-mailed question.
Yet a check of the Gibbons Web site revealed every other link, from press releases, to congressional testimony, to "hot and current issues," to the congressman's own biography, was working fine. There wasn't a problem printing those documents.