BBC scare quotes

From BBC coverage of a Simon Wiesenthal Center report:

The net is being used by racist and “terrorist” groups trying to recruit new members and spread their message…

Jewish human rights group The Simon Wiesenthal Center monitors 4,000 websites used by racist, “terrorist” and other extremist organisations. It has been tracking such hate sites for about nine years.

The latest report shows how important the net has become to these extremists, which includes racists, “terrorist” groups and homophobic organisations, and details the way that the groups use websites to spread their messages.

William Sjostrom at Atlantic Blog asks:

Any speculation why terrorist is put in scare quotes, but not racist? I mean, if the terrorist apologists are allowed to say that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, then why aren’t the racists allowed to say that one man’s racist is another man’s anti-genetic modification campaigner? Does al-Qaeda have to blow up a BBC studio to end their ideological fantasies?

Why doesn’t the BBC put scare quotes around hate (one man’s hate is another man’s “expressive anger”) and homophobic (one man’s homophobe is another man’s “pro-Darwinian exponent”)? Is it which words elicit giggles at their cocktail parties? A pox on the BBC.

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