Howie Kurtz reports today that ABC News reporters and staffers are going to be barred from wearing small American flag pins during this war. “Objectivity” is the key. As if anyone believed Peter Jennings would allow something obscene like love of country to infect his broadcast. Reuters will also apparently ban the use of the word “terrorist” from its lexicon. Too biased. “We’re trying to treat everyone on a level playing field, however tragic it’s been and however awful and cataclysmic for the American people and people around the world,” Reuters official Stephen Jukes tells Howie. Then he gets to the real reason: “We don’t want to jeopardize the safety of our staff. Our people are on the front lines, in Gaza, the West Bank and Afghanistan. The minute we seem to be siding with one side or another, they’re in danger.” And what exactly do you call people who massacre over 6,000 innocent civilians? Operatives? Campaigners? Peace-workers? Newspeak is alive and well – and harbored in the cowardly heart of Reuters.

GOOD FOR HERBERT: Bob Herbert gives me the willies a lot of the time, but say this for him: he’s open-minded and his tribute to president Bush’s address to Congress was gracious and true.