Once, several years back, I ran a list of words used by bullshit journalists to make their job easier. Words that lose meaning fast but save time. You might consider the following in light of the civil war in Syria. Feel free to comment and add your own.

ACTIVISTS: from the beginning of the conflict in Syria? ‘Activists’ have become some new breed of human being. These were the people supplying a lot of on the ground footage. Such footage was always ‘unverifiable’ first off. Secondly, does someone taking phone cam pictures make them an activist?  Or writing what they saw. And why the proviso that it is not up to some international standard of journalism?

Add to that the fact that acvist is usually reserved for people who demonstrate and protest wrongs in their society or world. The term activist then, implies that these people are the ‘good guys.’ Poliitcal good guys. I’m not going to argue that points

Just not good enough for us to believe them. Suggested  proper  words: ‘civilian’ or ‘Free Army supporters” or “Assad supporters. Though most of them meriting  government support or bear the golden stamp of SANA approval.  SANA, to be frank, is not an independent news agency. It is the government’s press outlet.

STRONGHOLD: usually called an attack on a Hizbullah ‘stronghold’ The word stronghold conjures automatically a central base of military forces.  As it stands, the Dahya in South Beirut,or  Hermel, and Ba’albak, is reported along the lines of “Hizbullah Stronghold Hit’  These places may be predominantly Shia.  Hizbullah offices may be in that particular block. Very often  Press Offices, Arhve Centers, Charity organizations and naturally, poliical offices.  What of the civilians, pro and anti Hizbullah, subjected to the engines of terror. As the situation deteriorates, will we start seeing Christian Strongholds…….Lebanese Forces strongholds, Sunni Strongholds? That makes it much more palatable to news readers around the world despite the fact that very often it is the civilian population being rocketed. It’s safe, its good strategy, to target military centers of your enemy. Targeting neighborhoods of Shia, Druze, Sunni or Christian? is not usually a military target.  Can’t you be a  bit more to the point ? And more human?

AN OFFSHOOT OF SHIA ISLAM: ie, the Allawis. Do your homework people. More apropros might be a heterdox sect arising from Orthodox Shiism. As it stands, this offshot adds fuel to the fire on the ground that somehow they are the same thing. If they were the same thing , former Syrian Mufti Ahmed Kuftaro would not have needed a fatwa to assure people that the Allawis are considered a sect within the confines of Islam. Its simple word crunching to readers who now see a very grey and volatile situation boiled down to a Sunni/Shia war.

SUNNI: Sunni’s have usually made a point to distance themselves from the extremists sects known as Salafi, Wahhabi, or Takfiri, depending upon who you speak with. Again. Get it right. Sunni extremists are far more misleading than the term Salafi, often freely used by Salfists themselves. Among the real scholars of Islam in Sunni circles? The Salafis are a corrupEyted, relatively new innovation in Islam.

REGIME: An oldy, but goodie. Just a bit too colorful to label a regime as black, evil and dictatorial. Assad’s government is a regime. The US government is ? A ‘government’….go figure. Iran is naturally a ‘regime’. Turkey is not. Say the latest news reports on their crackdowns on dissent. Egypt   it appears, may be in between regimes. Most regimes are autocratic rule. Nearly all of them are reserved for what George Carlin once called ‘brown people’. Or in his particular rant, people we white people can bomb.  Is Saudi a regime?The pieces of Afghanistan? North Korea versus South Korea? China? Russia? Pakistan? Sri Lanka? Jordan?

Especially in light, from a US-centric point of view, that country has often stopped at nothing to keep their favorite ‘ regimes’ in power.

Define your terms people. Otherwise we are in for another long bout of lazy, bullshit journalism that only several years ago all ‘copypasta’ed’ the infamous “worst fighting since the 1975 to 1990 civil war to describe Lebanon’s unrest. A few journalists out there do bother to use appropriate language.  Most don’t .    If you can’t come up with an accurate phrase by deadline time? I suggest you find another job.


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