The MSM has been criticized for years due to its left-wing bias, but much of it is built in due to blind adherence to the Associated Press Stylebook. AP style used to merely cover things like how to capitalize words, avoid the Oxford comma used in academia, etc. This has been vastly expanded to instruct journalists substantively now, with Orwellian language changes. Much of it is needlessly inflammatory, using divisive words when discussing anything related to the right’s perspective. At the same time, anything regarding the left-wing agenda is sugarcoated, using watered-down, peaceful sounding words and phrases.
The most recent ridiculous change occurred in January, when the AP Stylebook tweeted that it was offensive to use the phrase “the French.” In a sense of irony, the AP Stylebook deleted the tweet, stating that it was inappropriate to use the phrase.
The phrase “late-term abortion” was banned in December, claiming it’s not accurate since abortions allegedly don’t take place during the last week of pregnancy. However, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, about 12,000 late-term abortions occur annually. “Crisis pregnancy centers” are supposed to be put in scare quotes and instead referred to as “anti-abortion centers.”
The transition to gender neutral language includes avoiding the word “female” because “it can be seen as emphasizing biology and reproductive capacity over gender identity. It can also sometimes carry misogynistic tones that may vary in severity by race, class and other factors.”
Other gender neutral directives include dropping the use of the words “heroine,” “businessman,” “manpower,” “waiter,” “waitress,” and “manhunt.” “Pregnant people” or “people seeking abortions” is now used. “She” is no longer acceptable to refer to nations, ships, storms or voice assistants; instead journalists must use “it.” Last April, the AP Stylebook instructed journalists to use the pronoun “they” to describe people who prefer it.
The 2022 version of the AP Stylebook directs journalists to avoid use of the word “terrorist” or “terrorism” except when it can be directly attributed to authorities or others, or to describe a handful of well-known events like 9/11.
It also includes more than 25 new or revised entries regarding gender, sex and sexual orientation, including new words and phrases like “gender-fluidity” and “genderqueer.”
There were many changes in the last couple of years related to race. If “racism” isn’t appropriate, the AP Stylebook helpfully offers alternatives: “xenophobic,” “bigoted,” “biased,” “nativis” and “racially divisive.”
The AP Stylebook switched from “African-American” to “Black,” and explained why “white” will still be lowercase in 2020. Its muddled explanation suggests that it’s because white supremacists capitalize the word.
Journalists are encouraged to use the more inflammatory “racist” instead of “racially charged” or “racially motivated.” “Thug” cannot be used since it is “code for a racial slur,” and “unarmed Black man” is considered offensive. Once a suspect has been apprehended, it is no longer acceptable to mention their race. “Caucasian,” “brown,” “mixed-race,” “person of color,” “BIPOC,” “Aborigine,” “reverse discrimination” and the phrase “Black, Indigenous and people of color” are now considered offensive.
There are numerous words and phrases associated with Native Americans that are banned. They include “Indian summer,” “warpath,” “hold down the fort,” “circle the wagons, “Indian giver” and “powwow.”
The word “looters” is discouraged since it “has carried racial overtones in the past.” Instead, it’s recommended to say, “A group of people at the protest broke into the store and took whatever was on the shelves.” A helpful explanation adds, “people sometimes steal to obtain water, food, medicine or essentials to survive.”
Similarly, the word “riot” is discouraged since “Focusing on rioting and property destruction rather than underlying grievance has been used in the past to stigmatize broad swaths of people protesting against lynching, police brutality or for racial justice…”
However, the AP Stylebook still cleverly made sure it was OK to refer to the J6 protesters as offensively as possible. After J6, the guide came out with “How to describe the events at the U.S. Capitol.” It said instead of continuing with what journalists had been using about J6, which was “protest,” “chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power,” a “melee” or “raucous, out-of-control scene,” the language should be “insurrection” or something much stronger.
The AP Stylebook tries to control what journalists do on their social media. It instructs journalists about J6, “Please refrain from expressions of personal opinion about these political events in your social media or contacts with others.” MSM journalists routinely violate this, but rarely does it result in disciplinary action from their employers.
Another word now considered offensive is “able-bodied,” which is replaced by “people who don’t have disabilities” or “nondisabled.” “Special needs” and “special education” are now considered offensive. “Senior citizens,” “seniors” and “elderly” have been replaced by “older adults” or “older people.”
“Gypsy moth” has been replaced by “spongy moth” since “gypsy” is now considered offensive. “Child-free” and “childless” are “demeaning” so have been replaced by “doesn’t have children.”
The AP Stylebook prominently features a post from 2013 stating that “illegal immigrant” can no longer be used. They also forbid “illegal alien” or “undocumented.” Another post prominently highlighted is the offensive language adopted in 2015 to refer to people who don’t buy into manmade global warming. “Our guidance is to use climate change doubters or those who reject mainstream climate science and to avoid the use of skeptics or deniers.”
Not all of the mainstream media uses the AP Stylebook, some publications like The New York Times have their own style guides. But they are very similar substantively.
So what can we do about this problem, instead of just complaining? I am coming up with my own style guide for journalists on the right, that will include talking points and more. Instead of “election denier” and “the big lie” we will use “election fraud denier.” Instead of “no evidence of voter fraud,” we will use “cheaters.” As George Orwell showed in 1984, those who control the language control the culture.
David Elstrom says
Time to abandon the AP style book (because it is a tool of the MSM propaganda corps).
And simply Leftist propaganda.
Mo de Profit says
The rest of the world is laughing at you.
Mo de Profit says
Not you personally, at the American woke stupidity.
“Election fraud denier” has a nice ring.
A P Approved Propaganda…… and thus one knows the agenda.
Spurwing Plover says
Screw the AP and the jackass they rode in on we don’t need or want this PC load of Poppycock
“Language control” has been around for a long time – censorship of the media and individuals by dictators, religious authorities, etc.
It’s becoming even more pervasive now with the manuals of style that people in the language professions are often forced to use (editors, translators, writers, etc.). As Orwell said it so well, you control the language, and you control and change the culture. And we’re letting it happen.
Joe Free says
Time to dump the AP Style book. The Chicago Manual on Style is still around and was superb (at least back in the day).
The U. of Chicago (not coincidentally) has remained a solid defender of Free Speech and has a signature Free Speech Code. More and more schools are adopting their free speech alliance. https://jonathanturley.org/2022/12/11/oklahoma-texas-and-other-schools-join-uchicago-alliance-on-free-speech/
Tom Kelly says
What are they going to do when we use the the proper English and verbs? The new English they want to use would be tossed out in grammatical sense
The problem is that there is no end to this. You can never achieve Perfect Leftness. They will ultimately destroy their own.
Buddy Eiland says
It is a shame that we have educated stupid people beyond any level of practical usefulness. Their self-appointed elitism is aimed at developing “group think,” and cancelling out anyone who does not think and believe exactly as they do. Many of them do not yet understand how the world and government works or is supposed to work.
Kristen Bello says
I am keeping my AP Stylebook from the 60’s to put into a time capsule.
Looters: “A group of people at the protest broke into the store and took whatever was on the shelves.”
Why use one word when 18 will do, lol.
The ap stylebook was originally to make news reporting accurate, short, clear, and concise. Now it’s just to manipulate thought and language towards the leftist narrative. I still have my ap stylebook from the 80’s. No way I would use today’s farcical version.
The AP. Well, what should one expect? Calling a spade a spade?
Honest reporting about Israel when their lackeys here get their information from Arab and Palestinian sources as they drink their martinis in the American Colony Hotel, the watering hole for lazy, overpaid, dishonest correspondents who never bother to fact check the veracity of their sources, but go out of their way to vilify and demonize Israel whenever they can.
Stephen Triesch says
Terms like “climate denier” and “election denier” are silly and inaccurate. No one denies that there are elections, and no one denies there is a climate, yet we see both of those expressions casually tossed around over and over.
Spurwing Plover says
Back after the Hurricane in Florida they arrested looters red-handed and back when people posted signs You Loot I Shoot there was no riots looting or arson in Florida and Texas
Andrew Blackadder says
So by claiming the word looters has a racial tone to it then they are suggesting that all looters are black.
A few years ago a female Member of the Scottish Government decided that all ancient Towns or Cities that had a ”gender specific name” should be changed, so she started with the ancient town known as Motherwell and she wanted that changed to Parentwell, no joke, however I don’t know what became of that change, or her, but I did wonder what she would wish to do with the ancient Town known as Cockburn.