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Why must media use the term ISIS?

I was elated to see the article, "U.S.: Airstrikes in Syria, Iraq change Islamic State tactics" (Oct. 18), use the same terminology as President Barack Obama when referring to the Islamic State that we are currently combating. I wish I could say the same for the media. Prominent anchors and pundits on all the major network news and political shows consistently use the term ISIS as opposed to the commander-in-chief's term, ISIL.

On Sept. 10, President Obama addressed the nation on the U.S. strategy to degrade and destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The media's commentary after the speech and to this day, uses the term, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), when describing the terrorist group.

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The difference between ISIL and ISIS is not that significant. ISIL encompasses a larger geographical area. However, quibbling about the difference between ISIL and ISIS is not my concern. I am trying to understand how the media can basically insinuate that the President Obama is incorrect in his description of the enemy. If the president says we are at war with ISIL, then we are at war with ISIL!

Since Day One of the campaign, President Obama has used the term ISIL. His secretaries of state and defense and national security adviser use ISIL. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and CENTCOM commander use the term ISIL, too. They both say each letter of the acronym individually — I-S-I-L. Nevertheless, the media still insists on using the term ISIS as opposed to echoing the terminology used by President Obama and his key advisers.

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In short, why do the media feel they have the right to alter the words of the president? It's clearly evident that President Obama has been subjected to unprecedented acts during his presidency. However, for the media to ignore his decision to refer to our enemy as ISIL is truly undermining, insulting and confusing. Again, what gives the media the right to have a better idea than our commander-in-chief in determining the name of our enemy? Other countries watching our coverage of the current terror threat must be thinking that the United States does not even know who they are at war with. Is it ISIL or ISIS? President Obama deserves his due deference even from the media!

Chuck Hughes

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