May 16, 2011

Tortured logic

"The Bush administration offered formal legal opinions that the “enhanced interrogation techniques” it authorized were not torture under United States law. The Times adopted the view that labeling these as “torture” in news articles could create the appearance of taking sides... The editorial department had the easier path: it could just weigh in with an opinion. In the newsroom, though, taking sides was the wrong thing to do." — NYT
As good an example of bogus neutrality as money can buy. There was only one 'side' who thought that what the Bush administration got up to did not constitute torture — the Bush administration. The Times agreed with them. They took Bush's side, although understandably enough would prefer not to think of it that way. They would prefer to see 'taking the government's side' as not taking any side at all. The key phrase here — the one explaining the whole mess — is "could create the appearance of taking sides" (my itals). Now this is true. They did indeed avoid the appearance of taking sides. But appearances and reality — it is my embarrassing duty to report — are not the same thing.

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