Monday, May 22, 2006

INTERESTING SEMANTICS

FoxNews reports on the Grand Jury indictments of four persons accused of setting the fires that destroyed several buildings at the world-class Vail Colorado ski area:

Grand Jury Indicts 4 Accused Ecoterrorists for 1998 Vail Firebombing”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,196219,00.html

From the article:

“Four alleged environmental extremists have been indicted in a 1998 firebombing at the Vail ski resort that caused $12 million in damage — one of the most devastating ecoterrorism attacks in U.S. history.”

I find the semantics here fascinating… “alleged environmental extremists”…

These are “alleged arsonists”… There is nothing “alleged” about their extreme attitudes or politics, of which they are very proud…

A slip of the pen? Maybe… But this same wording, more or less, can be found in several news accounts of this event.

I wonder… Is someone implying being an environmental extremist who burns buildings is somehow different than a common arsonist?

Is it a more – or less – heinous crime? Is why they lit the match more important than lighting it?

And how is the implied reasoning any different than the reasoning behind hate crimes?

Just wonderin’…

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