I think most people have pet peeves when it comes to the use of language. Typically, we linguists tend not to be very judgemental about how people use language, preferring instead to describe and try to understand it. There is at least one class of exceptions for me, and that is when a word with one meaning undergoes a shift of meaning to become identical in meaning with that of a second word. Normally this is a quite unnecessary shift for, per hypothesis, we already have a word with this second meaning.
Journalists are responsible for one such instance in my opinion. This involves using the word "refute" when "rebut" is the more accurate word. To rebut a point of view, is to give arguments against that point of view; to refute a point of view, is to provide a "knock down" argument against it. In the example from the title link, we have sentence (1).
(1) Syrian Information Minister on Sunday refuted Israel's accusation that it was behind the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.
I'm sure that in the mind of the Syrian Information Minister, he had refuted the Israeli accusation. However, I suspect that Israeli's wouldn't agree. And a journalist shouldn't be taking sides in such a case.
Another case of this is
(2) Less than three weeks after Napster Inc. began touting its all-you-can-rent music subscription service, the company finds itself refuting Internet claims that its copy-protection measures are flawed.
Again, we have an instance where "rebut" would be more accurate.
The importance of these examples is that with this change, the language loses an important lexical distinction.