Press Spin and ISIS

In my last blog I referred to words and how today they are used more as spin than on accurately describing a situation.

My first reading this am involves ISIS and how , for example, Reuters, a respected news source , uses our language to describe two incidents in  Syria/Iraq. One incident is of the US ‘taking out’ a high level leader of ISIS . The headline reads : ‘a hefty ‘loss to ISIS and goes on to indicate that this person cannot be replaced with just one person in the ISIS leadership ranks . It will take at least three to fill his shoes and giving every indication in words of what a great loss this is.

Now contrast this with The Syrian forces with Russia’s air power help capturing the historic city of Palmyra, killing 400 according to the accounts available . The headline is that ISIS is ‘driven out ‘ of Palmyra. There is no language like a hefty loss .

Now Palmyra is a strategic city in the middle of Syria , giving the Government forces a real ‘beachhead ‘ into eastern and southern Syria. And containing some of the world’s most valuable Roman Empire buildings and columns .  It is designated as a UN heritage site, no less. Although some were destroyed by ISIS it is reported that others are still standing.

Of course, emphasizing the importance of Palymira’s capture does not fit the Obama/West’s  narrative of ‘soft’ power. Hence the ‘words ‘ used .

It is Syria and Assad and Russia that are improving their position  by taking out ISIS with land , a historic strategic city and killing 400 ISIS fighters .

Who has improved their position at the Geneva talks?

Be mindful, therefore,  that our own press has biases  too, and uses words that do not accurately describe a given situation or condition.


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