An Inclusive Litany

9/24/01

The Reuters news service barred its journalists from describing the hijackers involved on the attack on New York and Washington as "terrorists." "We all know that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter," explained Stephan Jukes, head of global news, "and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word terrorist."

Jukes also supplied a more prosaic justification for the policy: "[W]e don't want to jeopardize the safety of our staff. Our people are on the front lines, in Gaza, the West Bank, and Afghanistan. The minute we seem to be siding with one side or another, they're in danger." From which side, he did not specify.

[Ed.: Interestingly, Reuters also described the Taliban as "puritanical." And in an unrelated story about the discovery of a planned Columbine-style attack at a high school in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Reuters said the perpetrators of the earlier attack, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, "terrorized their schoolmates, killing 12 students and one teacher at the Littleton, Colorado, school before turning their guns on themselves." Perhaps one man's dangerously alienated teenager is another man's freedom fighter.]

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