The media: since when did terrorists become militants?

In reading news reports of the latest attack in Saudi Arabia (here’s one example) the media apparently has hung on the word militant to replace terrorist. Doesn’t this lend some legitimacy to what is, to all appearances, a terrorist act? Can’t we just call a spade a spade? Or do the media feel that we’ve become so inured to the word “terrorist” that they need a new word?

Or how about a more informative word or two, like ‘Islamic revolutionary’, which is what they are, regardless of whether or not we approve of their aims or tactics? I hate the media taking it upon themselves to demonise oppositional groups with trite labels, however appropriate we all feel that demonisation might be in these circumstances.

  1. This is an overreaction. The use of a different word in one story doesn’t indicate a big change in terminology. The CNN story uses the word ‘militant’ twice and ‘terrorist’ twice. This is not the first time I’ve heard the term used about terrorist attacks.

  2. What the hell is the difference? And pursuant to that, I don’t think ‘militant’ lends any legitimacy at all. It’s an alternate word that seems accurate as far as I can tell. It’s obvious what the attack was, so why get hung up on one word?

  3. ‘The media’ doesn’t ‘feel’ anything. It’s not a homogenous group with a hive mind.

There’re over 100 seperate, distinct ‘official’ US definitions of terrorist/terrorism. Which one are you referring to?

When did militants become terrorists?

Ah, it’s just a few disgruntled Baathist holdouts. Who cares what the press calls them?

I thought they were Sadaam loyalist.

Well, I say thanks for bring this up. Without this thread, I would never have known that The Media, LLC was trying to subtly influence me away from thinking of people who kill innocent civilians at random as terrorists, and toward thinking of them as militants. After all, like most people I’m dead set against anything terrorists might do, while any particular action militants may take is perfectly OK by me.

Another attempted brainwashing, nipped in the bud. Well done.

at the risk of reinvigorating an old cliche, why not brace yourself for

Freedom Fighter.

After all, that’s what the contras were, isn’t it?