April 3, 2019
By Robert Kuttner | Apr 03, 2019
Orwell Watch: “Redacted”. When the government censors a document, reporters and editors should stop using the evasive word, redacted. They should use the right word—censored.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, redacted has been around since the 15th century. It’s proper meaning is “edited, or prepared for publication.” But in the past couple of decades, government bodies have used “redacted” to mean defensible censorship, and the press has played along all too willingly.
But of course, “redactions” are often far from defensible or legitimate. They are often in service of cover-ups. Viz. the “redacted” version of the Mueller report, which Attorney General Barr proposes to fob off on Congress.
It’s bad enough when the government plays these games. The press should not conspire in Orwellian euphemisms. Indeed, more than anyone, the media should be resisting government censorship and calling it by its name.