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Study Hits Media for Use of Euphemisms for 'Torture' | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Study Hits Media for Use of Euphemisms for 'Torture'

This is highly relevant and interesting, as it comes at same time of debate over Zero Dark Thirty (see my take on that) and reports on the Senate’s critical official report on US use of torture.

Go here for results of this “Covering Torture” study (and graphs and charts) of how media have reported on torture in recent years, including uses of “euphemisms.” Based on research from October 2010 to October 2012, It compares different types of news outlets, plus examples within them. For example, Fox and CNN use other words for torture three out of four times but at MSNNC it’s a 50/50 situation.

Overall, print outlets are more likely to use the word “torture” than cable news shows.

The study finds that the practice of torture gains ground in public opinion polls, the more often euphemisms for it appear in the media. But one graph shows that the use of the word “torture,” at least, has grown in recent years.

Greg Mitchell is the author of more than a dozen books on politics, history and media. His latest, on the Obama-Romney battle, is Tricks, Lies, and Videotape.

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