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Slate: Journalists should stop labeling terrorists with toxic and discriminatory label of 'terrorist'

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.


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.


To be honest, there is some merit in the idea of retiring words that have lost all meaning.



Pathetic: Associated Press officially drops ‘illegal immigrant’ from Stylebook; Update: More media to follow?

Hey! You g*ys! Vox has proclaimed that ‘you guys’ is totes sexist for reals

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