Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ill-chosen term of the week

One person was killed and another wounded in an incident apparently related to a night of civil disobedience by large numbers of people in Charlotte's uptown.

We should stipulate a few things here:

1) It's entirely appropriate for journalists to exercise restraint in categorizing violent events, particularly when the first instinct is "riot" or "looting."
2) Skepticism of the official account is usually warranted. So is skepticism of the myriad unofficial accounts that flow in. More reporting is better than more speed.
3) News organizations that simply don't allow reader comments on news stories may be on the right side of history.

That aside, for a news account to suggest that this:

Police say two large groups became involved in an argument sometime shortly before 1 a.m. -- about two hours after Speed Street had ended. The two groups, centered along East Third Street, continued the argument until someone pulled a gun, police say, and started firing.

... is a result of this:

rebellion of the populace against a governing power; (in later use) spec. refusal to obey the laws, commands, etc., of a government or authority as part of an organized, non-violent political protest or campaign.

seems remarkably insensitive to almost everyone's interests.

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