Telegraph – The BBC has re-edited some of its coverage of the London Underground and bus bombings to avoid labeling the perpetrators as “terrorists”, it was disclosed yesterday.
Early reporting of the attacks on the BBC’s website spoke of terrorists but the same coverage was changed to describe the attackers simply as “bombers”.
The BBC’s guidelines state that its credibility is undermined by the “careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgments”.
Consequently, “the word ‘terrorist’ itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding” and its use should be “avoided”, the guidelines say.
I did some quick research on Google News and found that the BBC has, indeed, removed the word terrorist from its copy when referring to the London bombings.
Case in point, here’s the top result for a Google News search for “bbc terrorist.”
Note the use of the word “terrorist” (once in the headline, once in the lead paragraph) which I’ve highlighted with the arrows.
Now he’s what you get when you click through on that search result to the article on the BBC website.
Note the absence of the word terrorist. It was once there, but clearly the people running things over at the BBC felt that “terrorist” was a bit to harsh a term to use for the scoundrels who murdered 50+ of their unarmed, civilian countrymen.
Which is a sad, sad commentary.
One bit of ancient wisdom that exists in this world is that if you want to defeat your enemy you must know your enemy. Well how in the world can you know your enemy if you can’t even call your enemy what they are? Lest you hurt their feelings, no less?
Rob Port is the owner and operator of Say Anything.