…as it provides cover for murderous Islamist terrorists.
Zombie reports on the now-familiar inverted pyramid of the BBC.
Checking out the NY Times’ coverage of the same event (the terrorist attack at the Nairobi mall), I see that the paper does a somewhat better job than the BBC, but displays some of the same reluctance to name the religious affiliation of the perpetrators—so important to the terrorists, and yet so seemingly unimportant to our intrepid reporters. The Times article doesn’t mention terrorism in the headline (we just have some generic “gunmen”), but is faster than the BBC to get to the point, using the phrase “terrorist attacks” in the article’s first paragraph. But it isn’t until paragraph six that we get to the Muslim angle, with this:
Several witnesses said the attackers had shouted for Muslims to run away while they picked off other shoppers, executing them one by one.
And what of CNN? Nothing in the headline; the perps are “attackers.” The lede mentions “armed gunmen” (is that not redundant, by the way?). We find the first mention of the identity of these “gunmen” in paragraph six (are you noticing a pattern here?), where they are identified as belonging to “an al Qaeda-linked militant group.” Also in that paragraph we find the mention of escorting the Muslims out and sparing them; this time it is a quote from the “militant group” itself that makes the claim.
The AP headline mentions no perpetrators at all: “Kenya Minister says 59 Killed in Mall Attack.” The AP is the only one of the three that mentions “al Qaeda-linked” in the lede, but takes away a bit from that by calling them “militants” rather than “terrorists,” although if the latter term ever fit a situation, it would fit this one. However, in paragraph two we get the word “Islamic” (again, followed by the softening noun “extremists”). In paragraph six we finally get to the term “terrorists,” but interestingly enough it’s used in a quote from a former prime minister of Kenya. And finally, it is in paragraph seven that we learn the group “specifically targeted non-Muslims.”
Lastly, we have the Guardian, whose headline mentions the now-familiar “militants” and the lede says “gunman” and then “al-Qaida-linked militants.” In addition, the paper cuts to the chase by paragraph five rather than six, and is more forthcoming and detailed than the others in its description, as well as presenting the Muslim/non-Muslim selection as fact rather than merely quoting someone about it:
The heavily armed attackers pulled up in several cars and shot their way into the most upmarket shopping centre in Nairobi, ordering Muslims out if they could prove their religion by reciting a prayer or answering a question on Islam. They started killing those who failed the test.
So it’s the Guardian that uncharacteristically does the best job reporting this particular story. But there is no question all of these papers could, and should, do a lot better. How about reinstating the term “terrorist” as a starter? And then perhaps they could work up to “Islamist terrorist”?
Meanwhile, as we wage this war of words, the terrorists are marveling at (and exploiting) our stupidity.