Times Public Editor Tries to Rationalize Paper’s Use of “Terrorist” Label
By Don Feder
Monday December 15, 2008

An article in yesterday’s New York Times by Public Editor Clark Hoyt, “Separating the Terror and the Terrorists,” is a nauseating example of the paper’s moral relativism applied to the war on terrorism.

Hoyt tries to rationalize The Times’ reluctance to apply the “terrorist” label to people who take hostages, blow up bystanders and shoot 5-year-old girls in their beds. Hoyt admits “The Times is sparing in its use of ‘terrorist’” when reporting on Palestinian atrocities.

In an effort to be even-handed, the paper has decided to call the murder of Jews inside the 1948 boundaries of Israel “terrorist,” but not the murder of Jews in the territory Israel acquired in 1967.

Hoyt also explains, “The Times does not call Hamas a terrorist organization, though it sponsors acts of terror against Israel,” because “Hamas was elected to govern Gaza.” And “it provides social services and operates charities, hospitals, and clinics.”

The National Socialists were elected to govern Germany. Does that mean the Holocaust wasn’t a crime against humanity? If Al-Qaeda ran hospitals and clinics, would that make it something other than a terrorist gang?

If you can’t call someone who kills a five-year-old girl to advance a political cause a terrorist, how do you describe them – as an overly enthusiastic partisan, a misguided freedom-fighter or an unfortunate individual who was driven to acts of desperation?

What Hoyt doesn’t tell us is that while The Times may be appalled by terrorists’ acts, it frequently agrees with their goals.

Like Al-Qaeda, it believes there should be no U.S. presence in the Middle East. Like Hamas, it believes Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian land. Like jihadists around the world, it believes we brought 9/11 on ourselves by our arrogance and cultural insensitivity, and an imperialist foreign policy.

Some acts of terrorism are committed with bombs and bullets, others with newsprint and ink.



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