A thorn by any other name

A thorn by any other name

: Chicago Tribune ombudsman Don Wycliff writes a quisling column about coverage of the Russian terrorist attack and the Tribune’s refusal to call terrorists terrorists:

One other facet of the Russian hostage story also provoked considerable reader response: It was the Tribune’s use of the words “militant” or “rebel,” but not “terrorist,” to refer to the hostage-takers in news stories.

“How can you … describe these folks as anything but `terrorists’?” asked Jim Ihlenfeld of Aurora, in one of the more temperate such messages

Our eschewal of the word “terrorist” was in keeping with a stylebook policy adopted several years ago, a policy that is in keeping with the journalistic purpose of the news pages: to provide as complete, thorough and unbiased an account as possible of the important news of the day.

No intellectually honest person can deny that “terrorist” is a word freighted with negative judgment and bias. So we sought terms that carried no such judgment.

Well, bub, no “intellectually honest person” can call these murderers anything other than terrorists. To do otherwise is intellectually and humanly dishonest.

Do you not call people who rape rapists? Do you not call people who murder murderers? Do you not call people who murder many mass murderers?

These are terrorists.

To go out of your way not to call them terrorists is journalistically criminal.

: Go read the rest. It’s a pretty disgusting column all around. He calls a picture of dead children a work of art. That’s sickness of another sort. [Just caught up on this thanks to Editors Weblog]