August 8, 2014
The US Corporate outlet The New York Times which serves as a self-styled Paper of Record for the US establishment, recently caused a flutter by finally admitting that torture should be called “torture” versus other euphemisms.
This terminology change was sanctimoniously announced by the Executive Editor as a tortured decision in and of itself that as part of an internal debate going on for “months” as more details emerged about “murky” practices.
Leaving alone the fact that plenty of outlets within the US (let alone outside) like FAIR and Salon had repeatedly slammed these euphemisms for a while, this belated change of tune only comes hastily after the President of the United States openly declared “We tortured some folks”.
To present the decision of the New York Times – which faithfully echoes and amplifies the US government talking points and terminology regarding foreign policy (specifically taking the cue from the “liberal” wings of the State Department and intelligence services), supporting military actions, economic sanctions of the moment – as an independent, internal exercise in self-analysis is more insidious than admitting that it’s just another highly influential tool of the US government foreign policy.
(It is of course known that key reporters in the New York Times were part of the CIA sponsored Operation Mockingbird as were “over 400 reporters across the world media over a 25 year period” as Carl Bernstein in a damning 1977 expose revealed. To think this is probably a relic of the past is not just to ignore the slant of the New York Times, but various recent cases where it withheld known information at the request of the US government and was caught openly lying as a result.)
And of course, the New York Times specializes in mea culpas long after the event happened and no government official, reporter or culprit is in danger, so that it can appear genuinely remorseful and thoughtful.