Watch CBS News

Keller @ Large: Trump's Decision To Call Terrorists 'Losers'

BOSTON (CBS) - "I won't call them monsters, because they would like that term," said President Trump of the perp(s) behind the Manchester massacre. "They're losers."

Losers. It's a word that echoed across the internet Tuesday, with two contrasting reactions.

In a New York Daily News column, Trump's choice of adjective was mocked as "juvenile.... Is that the best our president can offer?"

Others noted how frequently Trump has employed that epithet, more than 30 times during the campaign according to a USA Today count.

"It's something that the president uses again and again and again to name-call anyone he doesn't like, even someone like Rosie O'Donnell," notes Zeba Khan, a JSK Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.

"The problem is if you're using the same term against Rosie O'Donnell that you're using against terrorists who have actually killed people, including children; it lessens the power of that term."

But Trump has made what we call the killers a focal point, during the campaign denouncing references to the Paris atrocity leader as a "mastermind." And Khan, an advocate of diminishing ISIS by calling them "Daesh," a derogatory term they hate, says the president has the right idea.

"'Loser' is a better term than criminal genius or mastermind or even monster because those terms give the terrorists power that we don't want to give them," she says. "Propaganda and the war of words is very much part of their arsenal. The more we can dampen what they're trying to sell us, the less powerful they are."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.