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Do ‘Journalists’ Obey Government Orders About Using the Word “Torture?”

photo: Laughing Squid (flickr)

Bill Keller of the New York Times thinks it’s politically correct to use the term ‘torture’ to describe torture, when as a younger journalist himself he used that very term to describe what other governments did despite their denials. Can he rightly still be called a ‘journalist?’

In America?

Isn’t there another word that more properly describes the role of the NYT under Keller?


Keller’s mentality has nothing to do with “journalism”: it’s only when the U.S. Government tells him that its torture is not “torture” does he immediately comply by ceasing to use the term. Kynan Barker asks a very good question: “If NYT/WaPo’s credibility is now contentious, should they avoid using the PC term ‘journalism’ to describe their activities?”

People who obey government instructions about the word the government want them to use in their reporting are more properly called something else. They certainly aren’t journalists, and they certainly aren’t part of a free press.

A free press doesn’t follow orders. It’s oxymoronic; also, moronic.

I suggest calling them Establishment Propagandists. On this Independence Day weekend, what term do you like?

“Lapdogs” seems entirely too passive.
“Toadies” is simply insulting to toads.
“Stenographers” is a slur on a fine profession.

The floor is yours. What do you call the employees of an organization that prints stories using words approved by the government about its own activities?

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