Thursday, November 27, 2008

Paraphrasing the News

Glenn Greenwald is one of several online writers challenging the mainstream media over its choice of words when reporting on such matters as torture. In this case, making the leap from criticizing someone who didn't speak out against torture and confusing that with everyone who worked against terrorism is a huge, inexcusable mistake.

And, as often happens, the paraphrasing of reports on previous events often goes beyond the facts. Recently, I've read several reports on why Joe Lieberman managed to retain his Senate committee chairmanship. If all the basic and early reporting as correct, Barack Obama had reached out to the Democratic caucus to say that he wanted Lieberman to remain in the caucus, nothing more. Yet recently, sloppily written stories have reported that Lieberman was saved because Obama said he wanted the Connecticut senator to remain as chairman. Big difference, even if the result is the same.

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