March 24, 2011

Reuters Calls Bombing Near Jerusalem a ‘Terrorist Attack’ — Using Scare Quotes

In a Wednesday story at Reuters (“Bombing near Jerusalem bus stop kills woman, 30 hurt”) describing the aftermath of “a bomb planted in a bag exploded near a bus stop in a Jewish district of Jerusalem,” reporter Crispian Balmer wrote the following (bold is mine):

Medics said three people were seriously hurt by the explosion, which hit one of the main routes into central Jerusalem in the afternoon, shattering the windows of a nearby bus. A woman in her 60s died in hospital.

Police said it was a “terrorist attack” — Israel’s term for a Palestinian strike. It was the first time Jerusalem had been hit by such a bomb since 2004.

My, my. It’s as if the word “terrorist” was invented by the Israelis just for the occasion.

Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic reacted (HT Instapundit):

Dear Reuters, You Must Be Kidding

… Those Israelis and their crazy terms! I mean, referring to a fatal bombing of civilians as a “terrorist attack”? Who are they kidding? Everyone knows that a fatal bombing of Israeli civilians should be referred to as a “teachable moment.” Or as a “venting of certain frustrations.” Or as “an understandable reaction to Jewish perfidy.” Or perhaps as “a very special episode of ‘Cheers.’” Anything but “a terrorist attack.” I suppose Reuters will mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 by referring to the attacks as “an exercise in urban renewal.”

The mind reels.

That it does.

This is the same wire service which, with help from other press outlets, was treating us to so many deliberately doctored photos from Lebanon in relation to Israeli strikes against terrorists (no need for scare quotes) in 2006 that it gave rise to a new term which has made it into the Urban Dictionary — fauxtography.

Perhaps the doctoring of photos has subsided; the doctoring of news clearly hasn’t.

It’s also clear that Crispian Balmer isn’t keeping to the standard held up by Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer (HT LGF via Michelle Malkin) in the wake of the fauxtography scandal in December of 2006:

The final lesson we learned was this – more than ever the world needs a media company free from bias, independent, telling it as it really is, without the filter of national or political interest…

…Telling the story truthfully is more important than ever. Reporting it without spin and without editorializing is critical if history is to accurately record events.

If Glocer, who is still CEO, really believes this, he needs to have a talk with Crispian Balmer.

Final question: Glocer’s bio indicates that “He is a director of Merck & Co., Inc.” Conflict of interest in reporting on health care, anyone?

Cross-posted at


Previous Related BizzyBlog Posts:
August 12, 2006 — Pervasive and Systematic Bias in Middle East News Coverage: Now We Know Why
- August 10, 2006 — Al-Reuters Explains It All
- August 8, 2006 — A Quick Acknowledgment to Gateway Pundit (re NYT fauxtography involvement)


1 Comment

  1. [...] Reuters Call Bombing Near Jerusalem a ‘Terrorist Attack’ — Using Scare Quotes - BizzyBlog [...]

    Pingback by ‘Nuff said’ – Opinions rants raves – Garysworld USA – Mar 24th - GarysWorld USA — March 24, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

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