It could take up to three guesses to name the site where Adam Ragusea argued this week that journalists should drop the term “terrorist” from their reporting. In this case the honor goes to Slate, which published his piece on Tuesday but retweeted the link late Friday night, a day after a “surly misfit” was involved in a “truck crash” in Nice, France, that left 84 dead.
— Slate (@Slate) July 16, 2016
— Andrew Ryan (@Zoaric) July 16, 2016
The tweet alone is tedious enough, but the accompanying 900-word article argues that, as the AP did away with the “too judgmental, too toxic” term illegal immigrant, it should follow the lead of Reuters, which advises its reporters to “not refer to specific events as terrorism,” nor use terrorist “to qualify specific individuals, groups or events.”
But why is Ragusea taking up this particular battle, you ask. (OK, you didn’t ask, but we’ll tell you anyway.) Almost nobody, he notes, was calling Micah Xavier Johnson a terrorist in the aftermath of his Dallas shooting spree that killed five police officers. However, underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Paris attack mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud were branded terrorists almost immediately. He asks, “I wonder what those two names have in common?”
As many times as we search the page, though, we can’t find any mention of Omar Mateen, or Orlando, or the Pulse nightclub shooting that killed 49. Could it be that Democrats so quickly turned that massacre into a renewed call for gun control that everyone just forgot an Islamic extremist was behind the trigger? Or maybe that was due to the Obama administration’s transcripts of Mateen’s 911 calls, which redacted the word ISIS and translated “Allah” as “God”.
Instead of even trying to apply the word terrorist consistently, let’s just agree it’s so laden with bias now that it should be dropped altogether.
@Slate I agree. Let's focus on PC instead of murdered victims. Facts, stats, common sense, critical thinking etc. who need those things.
— xycantbxx (@reddilpildo) July 16, 2016
@Slate oh my literal God are you kidding me
— Nicole File (@NicoleJMFile) July 16, 2016
@Slate you've jumped the shark.
— Thomas Avery (@ThomasAvery) July 16, 2016
@Slate wow… u guys never get it right
— Monte Sanborn (@Videokideo) July 16, 2016
@Slate This is idiotic. People are being killed. Families destroyed, Yet the PC crowd is debating this. Pull your head out and look around.
— sfgiantsfan55 (@sfgiantsfan55) July 16, 2016
@Slate terrorist is someone who perpetrates acts of terror. Has it changed?
— Joelmar Goncalves (@jgoncalvdallas) July 16, 2016
@Slate Are you attempting a new definition or rationalisation of terror?
— Nationalist (@anantha4500) July 16, 2016
Mind you, these are the same people trying to mainstream pedophilia. https://t.co/MRwSsfWdn0
— Jorge Bonilla (@BonillaJL) July 16, 2016
@Slate how about Fundamentalist Muslim Islamist Murderers is that better
— huitecouture (@huitecouture) July 17, 2016
@Slate Guess we'll stick with "Islamic Jihadist"
— Roger (@Roger247) July 16, 2016
To be honest, there is some merit in the idea of retiring words that have lost all meaning.
"Slate" is now a biased organization. They should stop being called journalists.
— Joe Friday (@justhefax_mam) July 16, 2016
@Slate "We should stop using the word journalist."
— Luciano Andrade (@Luciandrade) July 16, 2016
@Slate You guys…more than anyone…have no place talking about journalism in any way, shape, or form.
— Tasha Stevens (@tstevensradio) July 16, 2016