First the Associated Press announced that it would continue using “Illegal Alien” instead of “Undocumented American”, “Accidental Border Crosser” or “Beautiful Dreamer” on the grounds that it was well… technically accurate.
Now the AP is throwing out Homophobia and Islamophobia on the grounds that they are inaccurate and conflate prejudice with mental illness. And that has led to outrage hysteria from the usual organs of the left who like sticking to their politicized words once they’ve made enough people aware of them.
“Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for pretty violent activities, a phobia is a psychiatric or medical term for a severe mental disorder. Those terms have been used quite a bit in the past, and we don’t feel that’s quite accurate,” AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn said.
Again, that is accurate, despite the progressive response that adding phobia as a suffix allows it to mean a completely different thing.
The Associated Press is not taking a conservative position here, but we have reached such a point of cultural decay that fact-based positions that derive their grounds from reason and proof are already innately conservative. Or as George Orwell put it, “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”
The left’s counterattack on behalf of homophobia is already irrational, even from the standpoint of their own interests, because it communicates mental problems when the goal is to communicate bigotry.
Slate argues that homophobia is just like arachnophobia. The argument is wrong on a number of levels. The most simple level where it’s wrong is that the subject under discussion is not even fear. It’s dislike. The Guardian and several other media outlets have churned out pieces arguing that dislike of homosexuality is primarily motivated by fear. But that’s an opinion and the very argument testifies to a news media that is hardly able to distinguish fact-based reporting from opinion-mongering.
Finally there is something Orwellian about describing political or religious views in terms usually employed for mental illness. It skips past discussing what people believe or do to claiming intimate knowledge of their motives and passing judgement on their sanity. It’s reasonable for the AP to opt out of such heavily politicized and inaccurate language that claims to report on the state of mental health, rather than the state of events.