You see, this is the method of The Enemy, so therefore we don't torture. Or something.
From Glenn Greenwald comes this nauseating account of media spinelessness in the face of the evil that is torturing another human being:
The most noteworthy point was her [NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard] explicit statement (at 17:50) that "the role of a news organization is to lay out the debate"; rarely is the stenographic model of "journalism" -- "we just repeat what each side says and leave it at that" -- so expressly advocated (and see Jon Stewart's perfect mockery of that view). She also said -- when the host asked about the recent example I cited of NPR's calling what was done to a reporter in Gambia "torture" (at the 20:20 mark) -- that NPR will use the word "torture" to describe what other governments do because they do it merely to sadistically inflict pain on people while the U.S. did it for a noble reason: to obtain information about Terrorist attacks. That's really what she said: that when the U.S. did it (as opposed to Evil countries), it was for a good reason. Leaving aside the factual falsity of her claim about American motives, Shepard actually thinks that "torture" is determined by the motive with which the suffering is inflicted. The connection between the Government's ability to get away with these things and the media's warped view of its role really cannot be overstated.
NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard is a morally degenerate torture apologist. I'm glad Greenwald routinely calls out the media for its effect on the discussion surrounding torture, but I think he rarely touches on the larger issue: the moral degenerates who defend the torture of another human being not only walk freely among us, they are able to retain positions of authority and governance.
We need to not only call out the effects of moral degeneracy, we need to castigate the degenerates.
I remember a few years back when Saving Private Ryan came out, lots of people got really weepy and insecure (not to mention narcissistic) because they would never get to be a 'Greatest Generation.' Well, there's an entire cohort of people (which spans age groups) who have engaged in one of the great ethical failures of our time. And to avoid this failure, all they had to do was not defend torture. Never mind decry it, just stumble over a very low ethical bar and not defend torture.
That's probably a big part of the problem, I'm thinking.
I found the entire discussion on Talk of the Nation last week disgusting to the point that I was compelled to call in and provide input.
thanks a lot.great writing.