"Lebanese Bank Is Accused of Money Laundering," is the headline over a New York Times dispatch about an American government action against Lebanese Canadian Bank. The article reports:
Political observers were not sure what impact the complaint would have on relations between the United States and Lebanon....The observers said that the American complaint against Lebanese Canadian Bank was likely to be viewed as one more attempt by the United States to cast a harsh light on Hezbollah, which the Obama administration considers to be a militant group propped up by Iran.
This is a strange formulation. First, who are these "political observers"? The Times does not name them, or explain why they are granted anonymity. Second, the description of Hezbollah, "which the Obama administration considers to be a militant group propped up by Iran." This makes it sound like this is just some opinion of the Obama administration. In fact Hezbollah has been not just considered but formally designated by the American government, not as a "militant group" — the term preferred by some euphemizers in the press — but as a foreign terrorist organization for more than a decade, under both Republican and Democratic administrations. Among its crimes are the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 and the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.
It might be understandable, if not necessarily defensible, if the Times were using this strange a formulation to somehow protect its reporters on the ground in Lebanon, where Hezbollah wields power. But the dispatch is datelined Washington.
I realize this is a bit far afield from the usual subject matter here, but since there is a bank involved, and since it's such a glaring example of bad journalism, I thought it was worth mentioning.