Friday, February 19, 2010

When is a Terrorist Not a Terrorist?

Today's front page Wall Street Journal article on the plane attack in Austin illustrates the fundamental hypocrisy with which terrorism is treated in the media.

The headline reads: "Tax Protester Crashes Plane into IRS Office."

What the headline should read is "Domestic Terrorist Crashes Plane Into IRS Office."

By definition, Joseph Stack's attack against civilians is a terrorist attack.

However, in the American media imagination, only brown skinned, black haired foreigners are terrorists. Therefore, Joseph Stack must be something else.

By labeling him a "tax protester," the WSJ is re-casting his act of terrorism within a symbolic field that elicits public sympathy for the act.

Moreover, it is not until the 3rd paragraph in the article that the WSJ reports that 18 peole were injured, 2 of whom are in critical condition.

Terrorism against civilians is reprehensible. No cause, however noble, can justify wanton attacks against civilians.

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