Sunday, December 07, 2008

Is anyone but me fed up with the RW's dishonest whining?

Menken has another stupid post up, in which he repeats more of his stupid complaints about how various newspapers and cable stations covered the Mumbai atrocities. (For those keeping track, this is his second post about how the NYT wrote a sentence he found offensive. He's only posted once about the tragedy itself, and even that post was desecrated with a whine about the newspapers.)

Stupid complaint #1:
The [insert name of media] used the word militant or gunman, when only the word terrorist will do!

There are two reasons this complaint fails. First, "militant" and "gunmen" are both perfectly appropriate words to use here. There's nothing noble or romantic about a "gunman" or a "militant." Both words refer to people who are violent, murderous, unreasonable and dangerous. A "gunman" is a bad person. So is a "militant." Though neither word is as precise as terrorist, to use them isn't to whitewash a crime.

Second, near as I can tell, most every station and publication was using all three words interchangeably. For instance, earlier this week two hacks from the Simon Wiesenthal Center moaned that the Guardian "labeled" the criminals militants, but in less than 3 seconds I found that the Guardian also called them terrorists, and that nowhere were they officially "labeled" one thing or another. Today, Menken is calling out Reuters for "preferring" to call them gunmen and the Times of London for "feel[ing] the need" to call them militants. As if it wasn't clear enough from his choice of verbs, GoogleNews makes it obvious Menken isn't being fair or honest: Both Reuters and the Times called them terrorists, too.

Worse there's this: FoxNews also referred to them as "gunmen" and "militants" on occasion, but Menken has no complaint about his favorite station. I hope all of you will stop by his blog to ask him why.

Stupid complaint #2:
The [insert name of media] didn't forcefully declare that the Chabad House was targeted.

Menken has let us know twice that he's mad as hell that the Times said it wasn't sure if the Chabad House had been targeted or stumbled upon. What Menken has refused to share either time, though, is that the offending sentence was written on November 27 before the facts were in, and that it appeared right in the middle of a long article about how wonderful Chabad is in general, and how excellent the Holtzbergs were in particular. Why does Menken omit to mention this? Like his implicit forgiveness of Fox's use of gunmen and militant - words he took as proof of media bias when they appeared elsewhere - his chronic inability to confess the context of the Time's sentence tells us all we need to know about his honesty.

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