Saturday, August 19, 2006

"Washington Post" use of the term "Flap"

The Washington Post uses the term "Flap" to discuss George Allen's use of the term "Macaca" to refer to a campaign tracker who he presumed was an immigrant based on his skin color.

The article is here:

Click here for article in Washington Post.

I wrote up an essay regarding the use of the term "flap" in news stories and though it was on another topic, I think it applies here.

Don’t let arguments that are dismissive of the importance of historical narratives and symbols deceive you. One of the favorite phrases in reporting the news on the Confederate flag in public life is to use the phrase, "flag flap." This needs to be recognized as the editorial comment it is in reporting the news. The phrase is a comment that the topic of controversy is trivial. This dismissive tone is never taken in reporting controversies over burning the American flag. If a reporter used the term “flag flap” in reporting a controversy over the American flag, assuming that the editor would let it slip by, there would be a storm of protest. This dismissive tone is never taken in reporting holocaust deniers. You won't see an article titled or using the belittling phrases, "holocaust hassle," "history hiccup," "history hissyfit," or "holocaust hallabaloo."

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