Reuters Runs out of Scare Quotes

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Reuters news agency, which routinely uses scare quotes around the term "terrorist," is suddenly quick to make a moral judgement -- against the armed forces of the United States, of course! In this report, Reuters said of three journalists they sent to Iraq to cover the war, "All of them were killed by the American army." Never mind that (1) Reuters didn't have to send them into a dangerous war zone in the first place, (2) the journalists themselves could have quit had they been averse to the risk inherent in the assignment handed to them by Reuters, or (3) were it not for Saddam Hussein and the threat of Islamofascism in general, our forces would not even be over there!

If it is nonobjective (It isn't.) to call a terrorist by that very name, how is it objective (It isn't.) to blame American soldiers for incompetence or worse when someone wandering around in a war zone gets killed?

Here's a quick edit of part of this story which perhaps may serve as a turorial for Reuters in the proper use of scare quotes.

"T[he] global 'managing' editor of British 'news' agency Reuters said today the US military was entirely to 'blame' for the deaths of three of its employees in Iraq since the start of the war there in March 2003, an allegation disputed by the Pentagon."

The misuse of scare quotes by Reuters in its coverage of terrorism has always made my blood boil, but this is way over the top even for them.

-- CAV

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