When reporters attempt neutrality

John Hinderaker at Powerline blog catches the political correctness of reporters as they try to remain neutral observers while writing about the horrible terrorist attack in Mumbai.  (Yes, it was horrible; I'm not neutral.)

Reuters' caption for the photo begins: "A suspected gunman walks outside the premises of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or Victoria Terminus railway station in Mumbai November 26, 2008."

Notice the object the terrorist is holding in his hands. It's a gun. He isn't a "suspected gunman," he's a "gunman."

This kind of silly political correctness infects reporters and news services world-wide. They think they're being scrupulous--the man hasn't been convicted of being a gunman yet!--when in fact they're just being foolish. But the irrational conviction that nothing can be known unless it has been determined by a court and jury isn't just silly, it's dangerous. For example, I believe that this kind of confused thinking lies behind liberals' indignation that terrorists can be held in Guantanamo Bay "without being charged"--as though they were criminal defendants.