The Associated Press Stylebook Is A Growing Mouthpiece For Leftist Language Manipulation

The Associated Press Stylebook Is A Growing Mouthpiece For Leftist Language Manipulation

The Associated Press Stylebook has been going off the rails for years, and the trend has accelerated. It wants to ban 'riot,' 'pro-life,' and now 'mistress.'
Gabe Kaminsky
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The Associated Press Stylebook account tweeted on Tuesday that people should not use the term “mistress” to define someone in “a long-term sexual relationship with, and is financially supported by, a man who is married to someone else.”

The AP Stylebook has guided the media industry on language use since 1953, decades after releasing similar guides and rules for professional writing — like the 1909 first internal edition. The AP is arguably the most influential news agency in the world, with 248 news bureaus in 99 countries. Its work forms the basis for most articles read inside the United States.

But for years, the AP has demonstrated partisan leftism in redefining terms to serve political ends. Given its immense influence over journalists, and thus the American people, the AP is in a powerful position to change the way people think about not only language but what language refers to. Instead of using the term “mistress” to define someone who is engaging in adultery, they plead with people to use the terms “companion,” “friend,” or “lover” instead.

The definition of “mistress,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, is “[a] woman who has a continuing sexual relationship with a man who is married to someone else.” The AP’s suggested replacements have different definitions and connotations. A “companion” does not indicate there is cheating involved or even sex, a “friend” is a term to define two individuals who do not have a sexual relationship, and “lover” lacks information about other relationship commitments that may be damaged by the sexual activity, as well as the financial interests involved in a mistress relationship.

In September, the AP said “riot” should no longer be used. Not only did the agency claim the word was “used in the past to stigmatize broad swaths of people protesting against lynching, police brutality or for racial justice,” but it said people should identify the Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioting and looting as a “revolt” and “uprising,” since this indicates “broader political dimension.” Call me crazy, but rioting and looting are criminal and should not be romanticized. Stealing, attacking bystanders, and damaging other people’s property are morally wrong and rightfully criminal, and that’s what “rioting” means.

According to the AP in November, people should not “use derogatory terms, such as insane, crazy/crazed, nuts or deranged, unless they are part of a quotation that is essential to the story.” Furthermore, people should “avoid using mental health terms to describe unrelated issues.”

Over the summer, the AP stylebook determined people should now capitalize the word “black” when used to identify a person’s race, since it is “conveying an essential and shared sense of history, identity and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa.” The AP said white people, however, shouldn’t be equally treated.

“After a review,” the AP found that “white people generally do not share the same history and culture, or the experience of being discriminated against because of skin color,” and therefore there is less of an argument to capitalize the word. “Capitalizing the term white, as is done by white supremacists, risks subtly conveying legitimacy to such beliefs,” the Associated Press said.

It’s unclear who was informing the AP judgment calls here, but it seems pretty ignorant to declare that all people of a somewhat similar skin hue on the entire continent of Africa, and around the rest of the world, share the same identity and culture. Rwandans, for example, have significant cultural differences than Somalis — even though to uninformed people they might look somewhat similar, just as some people of German ancestry might look a lot like others of Russian ancestry but have widely different cultural histories. To anyone with any knowledge of world history or major world cultures, the AP’s language use and explanation for it is wildly misinformed and motivated by political prejudice.

The 2017 AP edition said the term “pro-life” should not be used, but “anti-abortion” should be. “Use anti-abortion instead of pro-life and pro-abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice,” it demanded, treating the two political sides differently for what, again, can only be partisan reasons.

Also in 2017, the AP redefined the term “they” to be used as a singular pronoun for people who are “non-gender conforming.” Gone are the days of strictly, and properly, using “they” to identify a group of people. The AP stands by language-mangling gender theory.

These redefinitions are appalling. America’s institutions have been corrupted by woke millennials who have been trained at the most expensive institutions money can buy. Now we are all coping with their ideological overhaul of truth.

In Ray Bradbury’s dystopia, “Fahrenheit 451,” firemen search for books and burn them. In today’s society, the AP searches for words that do not fit the leftist narrative and twists them up. In the process, the AP burns its own reputation.

Gabe Kaminsky is a senior contributor to The Federalist. His writing has appeared in RealClearPolitics, The American Conservative, the American Mind, the New York Post, and other outlets. Follow him on Twitter @Gabe__Kaminsky and email tips to [email protected]
Photo AP/Flickr

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