The NYT Discovers Torture

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 10 2014 @ 2:41pm

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A reader writes:

I can’t help but notice that the CIA had no problems using the word “torture” as they devised legal strategies to shield them from the consequences of using it. They knew it was “torture,” and called it such,  but how long did it take The New York Times to use the word?

Another sends the above screenshot:

What a difference a Senate report makes. While the NYT decided to start using the word “torture” again previously, I couldn’t help but be struck by how many times the word occurred on its front web page yesterday. I counted nine instances of the word “torture” on the front page (whatever counts as “above the fold” for a web page). This is a reasonably easy question for a corpus linguist with access to the NYTs archive to answer: how many times in its history has the word “torture” occurred nine times in a single edition, let alone nine times above the fold? This may be completely unique in its 153-year history.

The NYT under Bill Keller revealed itself as a mere appendage to the US government, rather than a vital check upon it. They never had a good argument. They still don’t. Every now and again, the press is presented with a real test of their integrity and independence. On this vital matter, on telling the truth, the New York Times failed.