Why write clearly when you can write unclearly instead?

What The New York Times says is,

Mr. McCain’s remarks, however, differ from the numbers available.

What The New York Times means is, “Mr. McCain’s remarks, however, are incorrect.”

“The numbers available?” As if there might be other, unavailable numbers that would support McCain? I’m glad the Times avoided the typical journalistic practice of writing something like, “Democrats claimed that Mr. McCain’s remarks are incorrect,” but they still can’t bring themselves to say outright that a candidate or politician is wrong about something.

Note to reporters and editors: If there are known, undisputed, verifiable facts about the world, then you can refer to them clearly and unequivocally and still be “impartial” or “unbiased”. Indeed, that’s why we call these things “objective” facts, and you are allowed to refer to such things in “objective” journalism without betraying your professional principles.

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3 responses to “Why write clearly when you can write unclearly instead?

  1. The New York Times is apparently dedicated to making Noam Chomsky look good.

  2. The Times CAN abandon “objectivity” in favor of the truth, on some subjects:

    > Over the last decade, creationism has given rise to “creation science,” which became “intelligent design,”

  3. Now they’re throwing objectivity to the winds:

    > OBAMA CLINCHES NOMINATION
    Marks End of Epic Battle With Clinton

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