REPUBLICAN BOASTS ABOUT ‘MINISTRY OF TRUTH’…. Last year, in an unusual display of ignorance, Fox News’ Sean Hannity announced that he would begin offering “Enemy of the State” awards to liberals he disapproves of. Hannity, never accused of being the sharpest crayon in the box, had no idea that the phrase has Stalinist origins, and quietly renamed his on-air segment, “Enemy of the Week.”

At the time, one of Andrew Sullivan’s readers noted: “It makes me wonder if Hannity has anything above a 4th-grade level education when it comes to the history of totalitarian movements.”

As it happens, Hannity isn’t the only one who isn’t well read. Eric Kleefeld reports on this gem:

[A] leading Republican appears to have just inadvertently admitted that the GOP’s spin machine set up to counter Barack Obama during the convention is a propaganda machine spewing nothing but lies.

The GOPer in question is Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams, who accidentally made the admission when describing the GOP’s war room in Denver set up to hammer Obama during convention week.

Wadhams described the GOP’s outfit thusly to the Denver Post: “Just consider this the Ministry of Truth.”

Now, I will gladly concede that the word “Orwellian” is used a little too often, sometimes in instances in which it doesn’t really apply.

But in a case like this, Republicans like Wadhams is just making it too easy. The “Ministry of Truth,” of course, comes from Orwell’s 1984. Its responsibility was to create bogus propaganda and re-write history, all in the interests of lying to — and ultimately, maintaining control over — the public.

Kleefeld quoted Orwell’s description: “The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy; they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.”

And now we have a leading Republican Party official comparing its own propaganda outlet to Orwell’s. It’d be funnier if it didn’t hit quite so close to the truth.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.