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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Limiting Language

For John, BLUFBut, the Press still makes fun of Mr Trump for his simplified presentations to crowds.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Slate:
All available evidence suggests that when Micah Johnson sniped police officers in downtown Dallas on Thursday, he intended it as a political act.

During the ensuing standoff, he told police negotiators that he was angry about the recent apparently unwarranted killings of black men by police, and “stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown.

Johnson could not have reasonably believed that he’d shoot enough cops to actually diminish the capacity of law enforcement agencies to unjustifiably kill black people.  He did it to send a message, to arbitrarily terrorize cops in the way that he felt arbitrarily terrorized by them.

The writer, Mr Adam Ragusea, then goes on to argue "Terrorist Is Now a Biased Term.  Journalists Should Stop Using It."

After banging on about the term "illegal immigrant" for a while, Mr Ragusea ends saying:

Likewise, I think we’ve reached the same point with the T-word. Reuters—a less influential force in American journalism style than the AP—agrees with me. From its style guide:

Reuters may refer without attribution to terrorism and counterterrorism in general, but do not refer to specific events as terrorism.  Nor does Reuters use the word terrorist without attribution to qualify specific individuals, groups or events.
I think that’s the right policy, and the AP should follow suit. Eschewing both terrorists and illegal immigrants alike is in keeping with a broader and widely accepted best practice for journalists:  Avoid labels!  When possible, describe what people do instead of labeling what you think they are.
So, a man, citing allegiance to Daesh, walks into a grocery store and starts killing clerks and we say he is a shooter, but we not say he is a terrorist?  Do we mention he has sworn allegiance to Daesh?  Do we mention that he believes he is hastening the Apocalypse as understood in Islam?  Or is it just about a mass shooting?  Isn't that a politically charged phrase?  Should it be eschewed?

Then, over at PJ Media we have Mr Stephen Kruiser taking on this issue, with the headline "New Progressive Media Lunacy:  'Terrorist' is a Biased Word".

Mr Kruiser wraps it up this way:

The notion that being "too judgmental" when merely referring to terrorists is problematic is quite, well, insane.  This just adds another dangerous layer of make-believe to the denial dance that the press does in concert with left-leaning politicians.

There is a lot that is nuanced in this complex, dangerous world.  Figuring out who the terrorists are and labeling them as such isn't one of them, however.  This is all very simple, and anyone fancying him or herself a deep thinker because he or she introduces complexity to something simple isn't very bright.

I am wondering how we will tie together mass shooting in the name of Daesh with trucks running over a lot of people, with bombs being exploded and killing a lot of people.  What will be the common term to tie these together, along with slavery, forced marriage and rape?

And, regarding the start of World War One, can we still call Mr Gavrilo Princip an assassin?  Maybe not.  Maybe too harsh, too judgmental, too much of a label.

The good news is that twenty or thirty years from now when the replacement for Facebook runs a new version of the vocabulary test, instead of your friends scoring 30,000 words, they will score more like 5,000 words, as their vocabulary will have shrunk.  They will no long have all those "biased words" for describing what is going on in the world.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The top comment on this article was "we should probably stop using the term "journalist" as it is no longer accurately descriptive."
  Being truthful, I am prejudiced against these folks who are trying to overthrow my way of life, not just kill people who exercise freedom of speech and draw cartoons, or fail to stock halal food, or don't worship the right way, but put us into a straight jacket version of Sharia, as they understand it.
  Of course he did spark a war in which millions of military and civilian personnel died, directly or indirectly.

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