Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,

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A second open letter to NPR

Were I willing to give more time to it, I'd write a shorter letter. But I'm not, because I've already told them what I think about all this bullshit. Still, I keep throwing myself against this wall, and here's my new one:
Dear Ms. Shepard, et al -

I see that in response to the reportedly overwhelming torrent of criticism of NPR adopting White House talking points to describe the American torture programme - and then pretending that there is an "argument" over what is torture, rather than the reality that there's an argument over whether the US should be torturing, in violation of tradition, law, and treaty - you have restated NPR's position against the use of plain language to describe plain and legal reality, primarily on the basis that powerful ("responsible") people don't like it, and say that the word doesn't apply.

You also claim that using this word is somehow "loaded" and taking a position in a debate, when in reality, adopting White House talking points and language in opposition to commonly and historically used language is directly taking sides in the very reframing of the debate the White House wanted to achieve! You are taking a side, and arguing that you must, in order to "avoid taking sides." How sad. NPR is, apparently, an enthusiastic adopter of such tactics - as long as those behind it are powerful, "responsible" people.

It is good to know that NPR will allow the powerful to change reality and the definitions of words when such actions suit their political goals. I look forward to NPR pressing the current administration on its need to apologise to all the war criminals (both foreign - Nazi, Imperial Japanese, and so on - and American) that it has tried and convicted for engaging in exactly these same practices that you now refuse to describe as torture.

However, even should that happen, NPR will no longer be seeing my sponsorship dollars. That will await a return to reality-based reporting.


For all the good that'll do.
Tags: politics
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