US crusaders? Register's areas of expertise and proper journalism
I come to The Register for technology news, with a focus on IT, networking, and digital media. The various science tidbits are also useful and interesting.
For these matters I think The Register, snarky attitude and all, is quite useful.
I find the incessant one-sided political drum beat created by items on the front page most annoying and inappropriate. I wouldn't count on National Geographic or NME (New Music Express?) to provide me with high quality technology news. Why should anyone expect that The Register has any particular expertise in world politics?
Of course those at The Register enjoy free speech, which should be the right of anyone. And everyone has political opinions. But it seems to me that those at The Register are taking unfair advantage of their captive audience by pummeling them with political propaganda that has little to do with the reason people come to the site in the first place.
Today's outrage is this sentence that leads off Mark Ballard's article...written, by the way, as a news item without any indication of it being an opinion column or editorial.
" Emissaries from the European Parliament arrived in Washington today with a message of restraint and fairplay for US crusaders in the "war on terror". "
The phase "war on terror" is put in scare-quotes indicating skepticism and irony. The phrase "US crusaders", however, is left unadorned. This phrase, of course, is very popular among the likes of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. The two word phrase references the genocide perpetrated by the Church in the middle ages, and encapsulates the al Qaeda lie that "America and the Jews" want to kill off Islam and its followers.
The combination of this phrase and quoting "war on terror" is an effective piece of deadly propaganda. It leaves the impression the writer agrees with bin Laden and company, and views the western claim of self-defense against terrorism as a lie.
My suggestion is that The Register avoid political issues not obviously and uniquely related to the realm of IT.
Failing that, political reporting should not editorialize. And if The Register cannot resist the impulse to take advantage of its platform to spout off on all manner of political opinion…political opinion should be restricted to clearly labeled editorial columns.
Thanks for listening
p.s. Please resist the glib retort that George Bush once used the word "crusade" in reference to the US actions in the middle east. It was clearly the unfortunate use of the now generic sense of the word. It was quickly retracted…but was not even a mistake when properly understood. Bush no more intended to imply that this is a war of Christians against Moslems any more than the charity organization "Crusade of Mercy" does.