This is a screen shot taken from a TV screen of a news cameraman's photo of one of the ten Muslim terrorists who laid siege to the city of Mumbai (Bombay), India, over the weekend. It was found on the Powerline blog in a post by John Hinderaker.
- 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." [And the gun is probably an AK-47].
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.
Local reporters do the same thing. My favorite one was one where the term "alleged victim" was used.