You've come to an old part of SW Online. We're still moving this and other older stories into our new format. In the meanwhile, click here to go to the current home page.

Not a "resistance" to the LA Times

By Eric Ruder | November 21, 2003 | Page 2

THE LOS Angeles Times has banned the phrase "resistance fighters" from its pages. At least when it refers to Iraqis.

The newspaper's assistant managing editor Melissa McCoy ordered reporters not to use the phrase to identify those waging attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. McCoy said that she "felt the phrase evoked a certain feeling, that there was a certain romanticism or heroism to the resistance."

Instead, McCoy told reporters to use the terms "insurgents" or "guerrillas." Unsurprisingly, the Defense Department flatterers at the New York Times "agreed" with the LA Times' decision.

But Washington Post foreign editor David Hoffman said that he found nothing objectionable about using "resistance fighters" to describe Iraqi forces. "They are resisting an American occupation so it's not inaccurate," Hoffman said. "We try to be as precise as possible and distinguish, whether they are former Ba'ath party, Fedayeen, outsiders, insiders. But that's not always possible."

The LA Times' obsession with proving its pro-war credentials makes you wonder what they'll do next. Will the paper insist on referring to Halliburton's oil contracts as "liberation contracts"?

Home page | Back to the top