Some Honest Journalism
Man, I just love being from Texas! As you know, many in media refuse to call a terrorist a terrorist. Reuters' Steven Jukes, stated in a memo, "We all know that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word 'terrorist.' To be frank, it adds little to call the attack on the World Trade Center a terrorist attack." Right. The truth "adds little" to a story. Whatever.
The BBC's editorial guidelines read, "Our credibility is undermined by the careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgements. The word "terrorist" itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding. We should try to avoid the term, without attribution. ... Our responsibility is to remain objective and report in ways that enable our audiences to make their own assessments about who is doing what to whom." What a cop-out!
And a memo at Canada's CBC said, "Terrorism generally implies attacks against unarmed civilians for political, religious or some other ideological reason. ... By restricting ourselves to neutral language, we aren't faced with the problem of calling one incident a "terrorist act" ... while classifying another as, say, a mere "bombing."
Well, not so in Texas. Like our President some of the press in my great state aren't afraid to tell it like it is. Witness the following from the Dallas Morning News.
----------------------Call Them What They Are: Those who murder Iraqi civilians are terrorists
Friday, July 15, 2005
Two words not uncommon to editorial pages are "resolve" and "sacrifice," especially as they relate to war.Today, this editorial board resolves to sacrifice another word – "insurgent" – on the altar of precise language. No longer will we refer to suicide bombers or anyone else in Iraq who targets and kills children and other innocent civilians as "insurgents."
The notion that these murderers in any way are nobly rising up against a sitting government in a principled fight for freedom has become, on its face, absurd. If they ever held a moral high ground, they sacrificed it weeks ago, when they turned their focus from U.S. troops to Iraqi men, women and now children going about their daily lives.
They drove that point home with chilling clarity Wednesday in a poor Shiite neighborhood. As children crowded around U.S. soldiers handing out candy and toys in a gesture of good will, a bomb-laden SUV rolled up and exploded.
These children were not collateral damage. They were targets.
The SUV driver was no insurgent. He was a terrorist.
People who set off bombs on London trains are not insurgents. We would never think of calling them anything other than what they are – terrorists.
Train bombers in Madrid? Terrorists.
Chechen rebels who take over a Russian school and execute children? Terrorists.
Teenagers who strap bombs to their chests and detonate them in an Israeli cafe? Terrorists.
IRA killers? Basque separatist killers? Hotel bombers in Bali? Terrorists all.Words have meanings.
Whether too timid, sensitive or "open-minded," we've resisted drawing a direct line between homicidal bombers everywhere else in the world and the ones who blow up Iraqi civilians or behead aid workers.
No more. To call them "insurgents" insults every legitimate insurgency in modern history. They are terrorists.
Amen, and God Bless Texas!