Saturday, July 3, 2010

Eager to please

The New York Times is the best newspaper in the country. Yeah, I'm damning with faint praise.

Bill Keller, executive editor of the gray lady, has been a defender of official bullshit from the time I first took notice of him in the late 1990s, when the Times's thrusting of Republican bullshit about Bill Clinton needed his defense. For Keller, it hasn't mattered whether the official bullshit is the Times's own or comes from Republican political operatives and their business interests. Keller will have no part in calling bullshit bullshit. He'd rather add more onto the compost heap.

Now, true to form, his spokesperson claims that calling torture torture would have been inadmissably biased:

When using a word amounts to taking sides in a political dispute, our general practice is to supply the readers with the information to decide for themselves.
Words have meaning. Waterboarding has always been torture. The special pleadings of the torture-advocating war criminals of Duhbya's ugly administration don't change those meanings.

Torture is torture, no matter who applies it, no matter who suffers under it. It is possible to do evil to evil. Even for Americans...

Our media culture no longer recognizes this, and even mainstream Republicans such as Rudy Giuliani, encouraged by the unwillingness of big media to call bullshit, refuse to deal with the plain truths of our national stains. A culture so debased by lying to itself is in existential trouble, not from al Qaeda but from its own corruption of character.

Update (7/5): More good criticism from Salon:
[When the Washington Post and the New York Times] defended their acts of cowardice and dismissed criticism as tendentious, they went beyond harm. Their pride in subservience was a disgrace.

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