September 06, 2005

Beslan Terrorists Were Just Gunmen...


If you read the Globe AP article carefully, you’ll note something very strange. If ever people had earned the right to be called “terrorists” (and much worse), the Beslan perpetrators had fully earned that right. And yet the AP seems, once again, to bend over backwards to avoid the word. Sure, the word “terrorists” appears five times in the article, but most of these are quotes from Putin’s speech. He, at least, doesn’t pull his punches; he uses the word four times in two sentences.

Mike Eckel, author of the AP article that appeared in the Globe, only uses the word “terrorist” once himself to describe the Beslan attackers. And even then the word is only used in a very general way to say that this is “the anniversary of one of Russia’s deadliest terrorist attacks” (by the way, was it not the deadliest terrorist attack in Russia, not just the less dramatic “one of” them?). When action verbs are used, then Eckel and the AP back off and call them “militants” (twice) and “rebels” (once), as in “militants attacked.”

The focus of media coverage in general was focused on two elements: the grieving families, and the incompetence and negligence of the Russian authorities. Both, of course, are suitable subject matter; it’s the lack of balancing attention paid to the perpetrators, and the inability to call them what they most undoubtedly were, that struck me as odd.

H/T: That Charles character...

Posted by Kyer at September 6, 2005 07:49 PM | TrackBack