Sunday, February 03, 2008

Hello, Media?

They are not "suicide bombings" if they aren't suicides. Women used "unwittingly" to deliver bombs aren't committing suicide. They are being murdered.


bobvis said...

Thank you for pointing this out! I thought everyone was going to miss that.

I wonder how they would react if you confronted them in person. I think they would go with "well, it'd be too confusing to explain..."

Plain(s)feminist said...

They're playing fast and loose with the language; they keep saying that they were unwilling, but they keep using "suicide bombers" over and over. They must think we're incredibly stupid if it's too confusing to explain.

bobvis said...

I don't know if I think that they think we're incredibly stupid. I just think that's what they would say.

I am making this up, but I think it might go like this:

PF: They are not committing suicide.

News Reporter: Well, yes they are. They are performing an act that results in their own death.

PF: No, "suicide" implies intentionality.

NR: Does it? let's look it up. [pause] Ok, fine. It does. Still, we need to say the words "suicide bomber" so that the reader understands that that is what they are physically doing.

PF: Even though that isn't what they are actually doing?

NR: Um. Well, it's just that it would be too confusing to explain to people why they aren't suicide bombers.

PF: Why do you have to explain that? You can just say what they did. They had bombs tied to them and were sent to busy public locations.

NR: But that takes longer to say.

PF: But comes with the benefit of being correct.

NR: Shut up. You know no one respects blogs. Right? You don't do any fact checking or editing or anything.

PF: It seems neither does your employer.
I let you get the last word in, but you can see that our pretend news reporter didn't really appreciate your point.

Plain(s)feminist said...

You actually made me laugh out loud! Although, I guess, it's not really funny.

Actually, I envision something more like:

PF: They are not committing suicide.

News Reporter: ...

PF: Hello?

NR: We think that's clear from the context of the piece. Thanks for your call.

Needless to say, I like your version better.

bobvis said...

You actually made me laugh out loud!

That wasn't unintentional!

I think both of our versions are possible. Mine is the meet-the-reporter-in-a-D.C.-bar-after-work version. A lot of them have sufficient genuine interest in their work to want to defend it off hours.

Your version is the call-the-newspaper-up version. They aren't really interested in defending their language choices. You may not be talking to the author, and you would only get their attention if you brought up something that they would need to retract.