Semantics

Glenn Greenwald on the AP reporting that an American geologist was tortured in China:

Given the standards of Good Journalism prevailing in the U.S. media, as taught to us just this weekend by high-level executives at the NYT and The Washington Post (and previously at NPR):  what right does AP have to “take sides” in this dispute by substituting its own judgment about “torture” for the Chinese Government’s?  Beyond that, given that the U.S. Government has officially adopted a definition of “torture” that plainly does not include a few cigarette stubs on an arm, shouldn’t that preclude any Good Journalist from using the term in this subjective and biased way?  I hope AP will be apologizing to the Chinese shortly for its act of journalistic irresponsibility.  It’s not the role of journalists to take sides this way.

Hoisted with their own petard! To sum up, putting your cigarette out on an American guy’s arm = torture. Waterboarding anyone else = not torture. Glad we’ve got that ironed out.

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