Calling It Torture

Greenwald confronts NPR. Their excuses for not using the English language are even lamer than the New York Times'. This drivel from the ombudsman is particularly revealing:

It's a no-win case for journalists. If journalists use the words "harsh interrogation techniques," they can be seen as siding with the White House and the language that some U.S. officials, particularly in the Bush administration, prefer. If journalists use the word "torture," then they can be accused of siding with those who are particularly and visibly still angry at the previous administration.

Of course, journalists could also simply report what they find to be true in plain English and not care about whether they are criticized. This capitulation to reputation, respectability and spurious balance between two positions, even if one is plainly untrue, is what is wrong with so many Washington journalists. They are more afraid about their own status and reputation than getting at the story.