“Do not refer to militants, soldiers or anyone else as ‘terrorists.’ The notion of terrorism remains heavily politicized and is part of the story.” – Canadian Broadcasting Corporation directive
Numerous mainstream media outlets here in the U.S., in Canada, and overseas have been hit with intense criticism this week after various analyses of their coverage have shown their refusal to use the word “terrorists” to describe Hamas terrorists after the atrocities they’ve committed against Israeli civilians.
Take, for instance, the NY Times, which in one report did use “terrorists” but later changed it to “gunmen”:
Here's the archive link with the original version that labeled Hamas as "terrorists" https://t.co/tmfYd9VZM5
Link to updated version calling them "gunmen" https://t.co/skOkc0TGhj
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 11, 2023
The @nytimes changed it from “terrorists” to “gunmen.”
— Jeremy Redfern (@JeremyRedfernFL) October 11, 2023
In their headlines, the Times has referred to Palestinian terrorists as “militants”:
— Brent Bozell (@BrentBozell) October 9, 2023
And when they did make a reference to terror, it was in a story on Palestinian children being terrified:
1/ After likely the largest atrocity against Jewish civilians since the Holocaust, the @nytimes front page—which talks of an "assault" by "militants" whose "gunmen" infiltrated Israel—does use a "terror" word once.
Only, it's in reference to *Palestinians* being terrified. pic.twitter.com/Pl12ibSODm
— Gilead Ini (@GileadIni) October 8, 2023
The answer goes right back to the BBC’s founding principles.
Terrorism is a loaded word, which people use about an outfit they disapprove of morally. It’s simply not the BBC’s job to tell people who to support and who to condemn – who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.
We don’t take sides. We don’t use loaded words like “evil” or “cowardly”. We don’t talk about “terrorists”. And we’re not the only ones to follow this line. Some of the world’s most respected news organisations have exactly the same policy.
Simpson elaborated on his Twitter page in a tweet that got Community Noted to show that “absolute neutrality” was not required according to BBC impartiality standards on matters related to “fundamental democratic principles” and “the rule of law”:
British politicians know perfectly well why the BBC avoids the word ‘terrorist’, and over the years plenty of them have privately agreed with it. Calling someone a terrorist means you’re taking sides and ceasing to treat the situation with due impartiality. The BBC’s job is to…
— John Simpson (@JohnSimpsonNews) October 10, 2023
It should be pointed out that even the Royal Family has called the Hamas attacks terrorism:
King Charles last night condemned the ‘barbaric acts of terrorism’ inflicted on Israel.
If the King can rightfully call Hamas terrorists, why can’t the BBC? They’re trying to wilfully mislead the public. #DefundTheBBC
— Defund The BBC (@DefundBBC) October 12, 2023
A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation directive ordered reporters to not use the word “terrorists” in describing Hamas terrorists:
“Do not refer to militants, soldiers, or anyone else as ‘terrorists,’” the memo states, emphasizing “do not” with bold type. “The notion of terrorism remains heavily politicized and is part of the story. Even when quoting/clipping a government or a source referring to fighters as ‘terrorists,’ we should add context to ensure the audience understands this is opinion, not fact. That includes statements from the Canadian government and Canadian politicians.”
The memo originated from George Achi, Director of Journalistic Standards at the public broadcaster. It also cautions CBC journalists not to refer to 2005 as “the end of the occupation” of Gaza, “as Israel has maintained control over airspace, seafront and virtually all movement into or out of the area.”
We have just obtained what appears to be a leaked email written by CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corp) employee George Achi instructing reporters to:
1. not to mention Gaza has not been occupied since 2005
2. not refer to Palestinian terrorists as terrorists
If true, this… pic.twitter.com/rqlhfm1clX
— StopAntisemitism (@StopAntisemites) October 8, 2023
A media analyst colleague of mine at RedState also documented how several U.S.-based news outlets were referring to Hamas:
This use of deflective euphemisms typifies what was seen across the press spectrum. From ABC News to the AP, CBS News, NBC News, and Washington Post, most described the attackers as “militants,” as PBS went with Hamas “fighters,” and other outlets chose similar diminished headings, such as the BBC using “gunmen.”
I should point out that media outlets have been known to refer to the January 6th rioters as “insurrectionists” and the riots as “terrorism” but yet somehow can’t bring themselves to call actual terrorists out for who and what they are.
And yet they wonder why trust in their institution is at all-time lows.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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