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Banned In China

Friday, April 17, 2009

Everything Old is New Again

One of the disturbing things about the last eight years (and perhaps before that) is the ease by which the government has been able to relabel things and to get the media to go along. Torture becomes "harsh interrogation techniques." Or today in the AP "rough tactics." The only people who complain are a few DFHs. Today the AP refers to Obama agreeing not to prosecute CIA people who used "rough tactics" according to the headline, the NYT headline refers to "harsh tactics" in the torture memos.

If all the main stream press can do is repeat mindlessly the code word which was apparently dictated (in all senses of that word) instead of the real word to describe whatever the real right wing rulers want them to, then why should we care if the press is going the way of the Dodo bird? Hell they cannot accurately describe something as straight forward as a little torture.

On the other hand I guess we can't really expect the press to come up with their own words. It isn't like it is something they claim to be able to do. Let's face it we are now hearing that someone or some idea has been "thrown under the bus" to indicate that the person or the idea has been repudiated, constantly. For at least three decades any and every political scandal is some sort of ......gate. (OK admittedly Sen. Vitter's problems are more interesting when described as Diapergate, but that is an exception.)

George Orwell wrote about this kind of thing a long time ago. (I suppose that an example of how long this kind of thing has been around is describing fascist Spain and Portugal as part of the "free world " for decades.) I read it in high school. I would expect that most of the people who write these articles and headlines were also required to read it in high school or college. I took it as a warning, apparently they use it as a template.

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