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It's Gambling, not Gaming, and the NY Times Gets That Right

In a long investigative piece on John McCain and the gambling industry – “For McCain and Team, a Host of Ties to Gambling” — the New York Times has done something noteworthy beyond excellent reporting. It doesn’t adopt the misleading word “gaming” that the gambling industry prefers to use in describing itself.

Several people quoted in the story use the word “gaming,” and it shows up in the name of an organization that lobbies for the gambling industry. So there was no way to entirely avoid using that misleading word, which sounds so much more benign than the reality — which is entirely the point, of course.

Kudos to the Times editors and reporters who got this right. They are almost alone in modern journalism in this regard, unfortunately.

Now if we could only get the newspaper to call torture what it is instead of “harsh interrogation tactics” and other such bogus language.

And (longer range), wouldn’t it be great if journalists stopped using “earn” and “worth” to falsely describe the income and wealth of people who have rigged the financial system and robbed the rest of us blind…

4 Comments on “It's Gambling, not Gaming, and the NY Times Gets That Right”

  1. #1 Jon Garfunkel
    on Sep 28th, 2008 at 9:24 pm


    Before you pop the cork on this apparent major victory in style editing, you should look into why the International Herald Tribune (wholly owned by the NYTCO) went with the headline “McCain wagers on gaming industry” for the exact same story.


  2. #2 Dan Gillmor
    on Sep 28th, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Copy editors usually get it right, sometimes screw it up. My point was that someone (or several folks) at the NYT clearly thought about this and did the right thing. Small victories…

  3. #3 Jon Garfunkel
    on Oct 1st, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    And, also, re: torture vs. “harsh interrogation tactics”, it’s not like the former is never used…

  4. #4 Dan Gillmor
    on Oct 9th, 2008 at 7:04 am

    The word “torture” is almost never used by itself. Typically it’s in a sentence like, “…harsh interrogation techniques, which some Democrats describe as torture, which the Bush administration denies…”