Trust me. My high school English teacher went crazy if we used passive voice in an essay, (i.e. the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is the recipient and not the source of the action denoted by the verb.
Passive voice eliminates the need for a subject, which makes it an excellent tool for sleazy politicians who don't want to take responsibility for their actions.
For example: "Mistakes were made," rather than "I made a mistake."
Even when the subject is specified in passive voice (i.e. "Mistakes were made by me," rather than "I made a mistake), it is a very inelegant and stilted way of writing. It was a big no-no in Mr. Painter's senior English class.
For more info see: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/passive.htm
I have been under the misapprehension that the "passive voice" meant rearranging a sentence to sound less "active," particularly when describing something that could be taken as controversial.
Therefore, instead of saying "John McCain got in a public argument with Ron Paul," the author writes "an argument flared up between John McCain and Ron Paul." As if John McCain and Ron Paul were both going about their daily doings, and then all of a sudden this big ol' argument just somehow flared up between them. "Where'd that come from?" McCain asked. "I don't know but I wish it'd go away," Paul sighed.
I guess I thought that the term "passive voice" described a a writers mannerism which I find annoying, when in fact it describes something else. Thanks for enlightening me.