How media coverage of terrorism endorses a legal [4-Ply or More] standard

How media coverage of terrorism endorses a legal double standard by Rafia Zakaria.

From the post:

On June 17, 2016, Dylann Roof entered a predominantly black church In Charleston, South Carolina, and opened fire. When he was done, nine people lay dead around him. For a few days after Roof’s grisly act, a debate raged in the media over whether the committed white supremacist and mass murderer should be considered a terrorist. Many, including The Washington Post’s Philip Bump, vehemently opposed the label, insisting that even though the Justice Department had dubbed Roof’s killing spree “an act of domestic terrorism,” calling Roof a terrorist would confer upon him the very notoriety he sought.

Like other journalists and analysts, Bump analyzed the sociological and ethical dimensions of the terror label, concerns about whether all who terrify are terrorists, and whether the wider application of the label somehow lessens the potency of the evil it represents. However, like nearly all other journalists who write about terrorism, Bump missed the most crucial point concerning the media’s use of the term: that American law does not currently recognize “domestic terror” as a crime. For an act, however bloody and hateful, to be considered terrorism in the United States, it must be connected to a “foreign” terror organization.

Rafia makes an important point about the “pass” being given to white supremacists, while law abiding Muslims are viewed with suspicion if not being actively persecuted in the United States.

But Rafia misses the opportunity to point to the more than double standard in place for use of “terrorism” and “terrorist.”

What label other than “terrorist” would you apply to the unknown military personnel who attack a known hospital? It has been alleged those responsible have been punished, but then without transparency, how do we know?

Or even the garden variety cruise missile or drone attacks that end the lives of innocents with every strike. Aren’t those acts of terrorism?

Or does “terrorism” require a non-U.S. government actor?

Does that mean only the U.S. government?

How “terrorized” would you be by a phone call followed a “knock” by a missile on your roof, ordering you to leave immediately?

The claim that is “designed to minimize civilian casualties,” sounds like a quote from a modern day Marquis de Sade.

A little introspection by the media could explode the dishonest and manipulative use of the labels “terrorist” and “terrorism.”

Let’s hope that happens sooner rather than later.

Comments are closed.