Noun 1. doublespeak - any language that pretends to communicate but actually does not; equivocation, evasion. 2. - a statement that is not literally false but that cleverly avoids an unpleasant truth.
- online dictionary
Remember Catch 22's The Man Who Saw Everything Twice?
The leader of this team of doctors was a dignified, solicitous gentleman who held one finger up directly in front of Yossarian and demanded, 'How many fingers do you see?' 'Two,' said Yossarian. 'How many fingers do you see now?' asked the doctor, holding up two. 'Two,' said Yossarian. 'And how many now?' asked the doctor, holding up none. 'Two,' said Yossarian. The doctor's face wreathed with a smile. 'By jove, he's right,' he declared jubilantly. 'He does see everything twice.'
The news stories these days are so full of doublespeak that if you hold one up in front of me, I see two. For example:
June 15, 2010
Christian Science Monitor
US opposes ICC bid to make 'aggression' a crime under international law
The Obama administration has resisted efforts by the International Criminal Court to include 'aggression' as a crime, mainly because it could impact US military operations abroad.
June 15, 2010
AntiChrist Science Monitor
Ted Bundy opposes proposal to make sex killing a crime under international law
Serial murderer Ted Bundy has resisted efforts by the International Criminal Court to include 'sex murder' as a crime, mainly because it could impact his love life.
Israel to investigate aid ship raid
Israel's army has announced the creation of a team of high-ranking officials charged with examining and learning from the deadly May 31 operation against a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
Manson family to investigate Tate-LaBianca raid
Charles Manson has announced the creation of a team of high-ranking Manson Family members charged with examining and learning from the deadly August 9th-10th 1969 operation against two Hollywood residences. Manson then thanked Athur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of the New York Times company, for appointing Manson's nephew, Bernie Manson, to cover the story for America's newspaper of record. (Real-life version of this story)
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When the "unpleasant truth" being hidden is mass murder in which the media itself is complicit, I guess doublespeak is the only option.