The latest episode in the on-going soap opera I think of as "The CBC is The New Pravda!" concerns an internal CBC memo to its employees which cautions them to be careful with the use of the words "terrorist" and "terrorism". Apparently the National Post got hold of a copy and was quite happy to expose it, whereupon CBC Watch reproduced it. (That link is currently yielding a database error. Maybe it's all the attention it's getting.)
The Amazing Wonderdog has an excellent post up on the issue. It's worth a read. And by way of introduction, he sums things up pretty well in a comment to this post at Bound By Gravity* where you can view an extract from the memo if that CBC Watch link still isn't working.
This policy predates the 9/11 attacks, folks.
This isn't new, and the National Post is reporting it dishonestly by omitting facts that everyone who ever read a CP style guide already knows.
So it's time to unknot your panties, and consider a more important question: how do you like being manipulated by the National Post editorial board?
But CanWest wouldn't manipulate us, would they? Well, yes they would. And have, or tried to. It was CanWest that earned itself some publicity a while back for editing Reuters wire copy by inserting the word "terrorist" where the original reporters hadn't used it.
So let's compare. The CBC favours using neutral language and allowing readers to make up their own minds and may be bending over backwards just a bit too far in that effort. CanWest favours the insertion of its own spin into stories even when the stories are written by wire services and CanWest fails to acknowledge that it's substantively changing the meaning. Guess which one bothers me more?
* I should add that Andrew at BBG isn't promoting this as evidence that the CBC is a front for the godless,
communist liberal, soft-on-terrorism hordes. He's not impressed with the memo but he's not indulging in the spin that will be placed on it in other circles.