After writing that last post, I realized that, if the press is having trouble keeping Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in Iraq straight, they might be having other problems distinguishing between things that have similar names. Perhaps we can help.
Shown here are (1) an actual bear, and (2) the Chicago Bears. Show these pictures to a journalist--maybe someone you know, perhaps a member of your own family--to see if that member of the Fourth Estate can tell the difference.
If they experience trouble, immediate attention may be required. Take the test to stage two, in which the journalist must tell the difference between (1) Prince Charles, monarch-in-waiting of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and (2) the cast of the sitcom Charles in Charge.
Perhaps these examples don't hit close enough to home. Therefore, the acid test asks the journalist to distinguish among (1) a wolf, (2) the German blitzkrieg in World War II, and (3) Wolf Blitzer. This challenge is especially tricky, since it presents 50% more choices than the previous tests.
The painful truth
If the journalist fails any of these tests, you know for sure that he or she will have no chance whatsoever of telling the difference between (1) Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, and (2) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, former leader of Ansar al-Islam and founder of Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn, a.k.a. "Al Qaeda in Iraq."
The journalists with this problem are suffering from a substantial handicap. After years of trying and failing, it's clear that they are being asked to do a job for which they are functionally crippled.
These journalists deserve our pity--and our help. "Lazy Reporter's Brain" is, like Turrett's Syndrome or chronic flatulence, no laughing matter.
We can only hope that, soon, we will find a cure. Until that happy day arrives, just be careful when the journalist you know says, "I hear Wolf is going to be at that dinner party--I can't wait to go!"