In the Bush years, McClatchy Newspapers became a legend to liberals and a joke to conservatives for how fiercely they “reported”/advocated against the Iraq war. Our 2007 “Quote of the Year” was this headline as the war news became more positsive: "As Violence Falls in Iraq, Cemetery Workers Feel the Pinch."
That spirit was alive in Washington last week when McClatchy reporter-photographer Amina Ismail slapped White House press secretary Jay Carney with a question strongly suggesting that NATO airstrikes in Afghanistan aren’t a war on terrorism, they are terrorism:
AMINA ISMAIL: I send my deepest condolence to the victims and families in Boston. But President Obama said that what happened in Boston was an act of terrorism. I would like to ask, Do you consider the U.S. bombing on civilians in Afghanistan earlier this month that left 11 children and a woman killed a form of terrorism? Why or why not?
Carney wasn’t ready for that question, since pro-Obama reporters aren’t anti-war as much as they’re pro-Obama. He suggested he would have to look into the details of the April 7 attack Ismail was citing. The Washington Post barely mentioned the story, and The New York Times had a fuller piece.
Nick Wing at the HuffPost helpfully explained how the word “terrorism” could be broadened to include any unintentional American-caused civilian casualties: “Some have claimed that such words can only be used when indiscriminate violence is used to further a specific political motive, but others have argued that any instance in which people who are killed while otherwise going about their normal business should constitute terrorism.”
At the blog Dispatches from the Underclass, Ismail was a hero for her leftist hardball: "I can’t imagine it was easy given how extremely rare and frowned upon it is to challenge the dominant 'war on terror' narrative, especially as a female reporter with an Arab-sounding name. And Amina, if you’re reading this, thanks for kicking ass!"
She didn't upset her fellow White House reporters. Zachary Goldfarb of the Washington Post tweeted to her, "welcome to the white house briefing room, then!"