I'm not condoning it, but it is common practice. I've been around it my whole life. Did AP go to far, yes but the the guy I quoted said "tortured" which it wasn't. AP didn't beat his kid for pleasure. Huge difference.
I heard he put leaves in the kids mouth when he did it.
That... certainly crosses that line into the "cruel and unusual" territory that generally constitutes torture. There is no requirement of sadism for torture to be in play.