Obama Says “Tomato,” Media Says “Tomahto”

Obama Says “Tomato,” Media Says “Tomahto”

In many years of watching the news, I’ve never witnessed a acronym battle like we have regarding the terrorist group “ISIL.” Or is it “ISIS”?

Since when does the media get to overrule a President on his own terminology? There is more going on than a simple word change.

First, a quick summary of the differences:

  • “The Islamic State” is what the terrorists call themselves. They want to see a supreme Islamic leader (caliph) rule over a massive, purely Muslim state (caliphate.)
  • President Obama and his administration refer to the terrorist group as “ISIL” (“EYE-sill”), the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Levant refers to a larger portion of the Middle East that includes Lebanon and Jordan.
  • The media has “agreed” to refer to the group as “ISIS” (“EYE-siss) = The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. This describes a more limited focus involving two countries.

“ISIL” isn’t a longer acronym than “ISIS.” It isn’t harder to pronounce. So why does the media continue to fight the President’s terminology?

It’s simple arrogance. The media forgot whom they serve: their audience. Reporters and broadcasters continue to use a different term despite the President’s consistent use of ISIL without any regard to their own customers. What if Desert Storm had also been called “Sandstorm”?  It would be unnecessarily confusing to viewers and readers, which is never a good thing.

A note to the media: get over yourselves. Do the right thing and use the same term as our elected leader. Your personal views are irrelevant.

Perhaps a solution is to simply refer to the group as “I.S.”

That would depend, of course, on what your definition of “IS” is…


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