The U.S. has for a long time promoted itself as a strong proponent of human rights around the world. However, the use of human rights rhetoric by the U.S. is often critiqued as being inconsistent and motivated by a desire to advance the goals of political, individual and group actors instead of being used to truly advance the state of human rights. In the following study I examine changes in the language of the U.S. State Department Human Rights Reports on China from 1979 -- 2009 on the issues of religion, Tibet and workers' rights. I ask the question of to what extent the language in the reports reflect changes in the state of human rights in China versus the influence of U.S. domestic political actors. I examine significant changes over time in the language of the State Department reports including the number of words used, the tone of the language, the use of statistics, repetition and the citation of sources within the reports. Then, changes in the language of the reports over time are compared to changes in two factors that are central to U.S. domestic politics. The first section of the analysis compares alterations in the reports to changes in the partisan affiliation of the President of the United States to determine if the language in the reports systematically reflects changes in the party of the President. The second section begins with an examination of the years in which there are dramatic fluctuations in the number of words used in the reports. In order to determine if these fluctuations reflect events in China, the State Department reports are compared to the annual reports on China produced by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In the years in which the State Department reports fluctuations in language differ from the independent reports, the strength of domestic U.S. interest groups is examined to determine if changes in the language reflect an increase in their influence over the reports. For example, if the language of the independent organizations becomes less severe on a given issue and the language of the State Department becomes more severe, the strength of the interest group promoting that issue is examined to determine if the increase in the severity of the language is due to an increase in interest group strength. This study provides insight into whether changes in the language of the State Department Human Rights Reports reflect the politicization of human rights issues by domestic U.S. actors.