Thursday, March 10, 2005

"Suicide" Bombing vs. "Homicide" Bombing

As I have noted before, when it comes to suicide bombings Fox tends to use the term “homicide” in lieu of suicide. The articles today of a bombing at a mosque in Mosul are an example. CNN’s opening is, “A suicide bombing at a Shiite Muslim funeral ….” Fox starts with, “A homicide attacker set off a bomb ….” “Suicide” emphasizes the sacrifice of the bomber whereas “homicide” emphasizes the impact on the lives of others.

Here is a quote and a link to a New York Times article on CNN’s web site from August 2003 about terminology:

Hamas, the Palestinian group responsible for the largest number of suicide bombings, typically claims responsibility by announcing "a heroic martyrdom operation against the Zionist entity." Hamas avoids mentioning "Israel," which it does not recognize, and does not use the term "suicide bombing."

Israeli officials also tend to reject the phrase "suicide bomber" -- in their case because it emphasizes the assailant, not the victims. Government spokesmen have used "homicide bomber," and some Israelis have even suggested "genocide bomber."

Links to today’s articles:,2933,150025,00.html

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