Featured is part of an Associated Press bureau. (Photo credit: YouTube/AP Archive)
Language is a powerful weapon in the hands of the media. Words and expressions convey ideas that reflect a culture, morality, and worldview. Liberal media have long used their position of power to change language and impose their distorted worldview upon America.
As part of its orientation to writers, the Associated Press (AP) regularly tweets recommendations of words and expressions that writers should not use. The updated 2020 list applies to The AP Stylebook And Briefing On Media Law, a reference work first printed in 1953. English language publications widely use it as a guide for what is acceptable…and politically correct.
The list of forbidden words and expressions is a very clear example of how liberal media destroy culture and morality. This process is much more blatant and open than in the past. Expressions are now being expunged in the name of a political agenda that targets all things conservative in America.
No More “Committing Suicide”
The AP thought police, for example, now recommends that the phrase “committing suicide” be avoided since it proves harmful in the discussion of suicide. Using the word “commit” is full of criminal overtones that reflect the past when suicide was illegal (and known to be a grave sin against the Fifth Commandment). It conjures up images of committing murder, assault, and other crimes, which are linguistically similar constructions.
Of course, suicide is wrong and sinful. People considering suicide need help. However, the reference to “committing” deliberately conveys the idea of a wrongful act to be avoided. It confers responsibility on those who perpetrate the act. This moral connotation is needed to keep order in society.
For this reason, the left needs to change this expression to reflect a desired social change. In a society that promotes assisted suicide, removing “committing” imposes a social acceptance of the morally unacceptable “suicide.” It mainstreams suicide as an option when life’s difficulties come knocking.
Turning Defects into Conditions
Another AP recommendation finds fault with the common expression “the homeless.” It is too harsh and “dehumanizing.” Perhaps the AP objects because it identifies the person with their condition. “The homeless” implies that such persons might have some blame for not having houses.
Indeed, some people might have no fault in falling into poverty. However, others land in the street because of vices, family problems, mental conditions, and crimes. The replacement expressions come free of any judgment. Writers are advised to use phrases like “people without housing” or “people without homes.” That is to say, people who happen to be without houses, which reduces the condition almost to chance or bad luck.
Similarly, AP warns that words like “crazy,” “insane,” and “nuts” should not be used save in direct quotes. The reason for the change is that the words make light of serious mental health issues. The purging of these words again insinuates that the people are free of responsibility for their acts. If a person acts irrationally, it is due to health challenges and not deliberate attitudes or whims that a person adopts. An individual’s plight can be blamed on social structures and institutions that supposedly impose themselves on poor persons. Anyone but the individual must be blamed for tragedy and misfortune.
Describing Mostly Peaceful Protests?
The 2020 recommendations could not fail to address the widespread violence that wracked America over the summer. Journalists had to find ways to report negative events often associated with Black Lives Matter in a more positive light.
Thus, the AP considers the term “riot” to be verboten. The censors objected to the word because of its troublesome focus on the violence that could unfairly “stigmatize broad swaths of people protesting against lynching, police brutality or for racial justice.”
Again, the left denies individual responsibility for acts re-scripted to appear as if they almost accidentally became violent. The AP advises writers to use less emotionally charged words like unrest, protest, and demonstration.
Not surprisingly, the word dictators allow for one exception to the riot rule. The AP Stylebook gave the green light for the Jan. 6 Capitol “riot.” Mob and riot are deemed acceptable words to describe the event. AP also suggested emphasizing the violence by using “strong adjectives.”
Defund the Police Does Not Mean Anything
Among the 2020 expressions not recommended for writers’ usage is the phrase “defund the police” unless found in a direct quote. Although the expression was first used by the left, it quickly turned against the leftist cause. The AP style masters thus explain that the term is “often misrepresented as abolishing the police.”
To avoid this possible error, writers should exhibit all caution even when police defunders call for abolishing the police. Protesters are not responsible for their words and must be given the benefit of the doubt.
Lest anyone forget, the Minneapolis City Council voted to abolish the city’s police department in June 2020 after protesters repeatedly demanded the police’s defunding. The city resolution awaits a vote in a future referendum. However, in the meantime, the council voted to defund part of the police budget. Thus, the expression does have meaning and consequences.
Treatment and Reverse Discrimination of the Races
A final change in usage in The AP Stylebook is the capitalization of the word “Black” when referring to racial categories. Since, according to the AP, black people have strongly shared historical and cultural affinities found wherever they may live worldwide, the AP reasons that it merits special recognition. Besides, the shared discrimination based on skin color is a reason to highlight the term with this arbitrary capitalization.
On the contrary, the racial category white should not be capitalized since it “risks subtly conveying legitimacy to…[the] beliefs” of white supremacist groups, which often capitalize the term.
Changing the Culture Through Words and Expressions
The nature of these changes is not improved grammar or increased clarity, which should be a stylebook’s goal. As events happen, writers need tools to describe better the reality before them. Instead of clarifying reality, though, the AP changes imposed fogginess.
These six examples should be enough to convince anyone of the bias in liberal media. All these changes favor the left.
America is engaged in a culture war where the left wants to change America toward a more Marxist, liberal, and egalitarian society. Words are particularly powerful in pushing this political agenda. These words also introduce a philosophical worldview in which people accept no moral responsibility for their actions. The changes favor the idea that everything is determined by social and power structures and engaged in a Marxist class struggle.
Writers must not use these subversive changes. They must fight back, using words in their natural and correct sense. Any nation that embarks on this crazy linguistic voyage is committing suicide.
John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book “Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society–Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go.” He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.