How AP made itself suspect

The Associated Press gets a lot of respect, largely because it is so large, it has so many newspaper members, it has lasted so long (since 1846) and has great branding.

Who hasn’t heard of the AP?

Because it has 1,400 member newspapers, plus broadcasters, to create conformity (and make it easier on copy editors), AP created a Stylebook, which is filled with suggestions on such things as capitalization, usage, abbreviations, and grammar.

They are suggestions, not demands, but they have become suspect in recent years. 

Why is it suspect? Among its curious decisions, it has banned terms such as “illegal immigrant” — to avoid “demonizing” those known as “immigrants” — and decided that Black should be capitalized when talking about African-Americans. The color of no other racial group is so honored, so one may conclude that AP believes that Black Lives Matter … More.

Here is AP’s explanation: It will “capitalize Black in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense, 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.”

AP believes, therefore, that American Blacks born and reared in, say, Birmingham,  Alabama, have a shared sense of history and cultural identity with Ethiopians, Trinidadians, Hutus, Tutsis, and Pygmies.

Whereas (lower case) white people from, say, Massachusetts, and Manchester, have no such commonality of history, identity, and community.

If the former is true, so must be the latter, but AP doesn’t see it that way and that explains why I do not trust AP as an objective arbiter. Its explanation is, to steal from Joe Biden, malarkey. It is white guilt.

Here’s another example: “Use care in deciding which term best applies: A riot is a wild or violent disturbance of the peace involving a group of people. The term riot suggests uncontrolled chaos and pandemonium.”

It suggests a milder term, like “unrest,” might be better than “riot.” Better for whom? 

[A quick check shows AP used “riot” for the January 6 right-wing unrest at the Capital, but used “unrest” to describe 100 days of left-wing Portland riots.]

“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, going back to the urban uprisings of the 1960s.”

Wow! The press “stigmatized” people engaged in “unrest,” such as arson, looting, and assault? I wish it did, but I don’t see that much. Who can forget MSNBC’s Ali Velshi describing a “protest” as “not unruly” with a building ablaze behind him? The guy needs a white cane and guide dog.

When AP graduated from whether we should write “10” or “ten,” and put on the woke badge of a social justice warrior, it exposed itself to the scorn of those who wished it would stick to the facts and keep political correctness out of reporting.

14 thoughts on “How AP made itself suspect”

    now, you may say HAPPY FLAG DAY !!!
    you know me well enough to know that I will never be considered woke or any other 21th century term. I may be mislabeled racist or such words that still exist from the ’50s and ’60s, but none of which is true.
    I understand that we don’t all speak the same English. Especially me. Sorry to say. Rather than use proper English as it was taught way back when, America keeps looking for – and finding, new ways to ‘articulate’! We had ‘hip’ in the ’50s, ‘jive’ in the ’60s, and on and on till right now when, I guess we have to learn ‘woke’.
    I woke be changing anytime soon. A riot is when the masses are completely out of control. A gathering is when people congregate for particular reasons and always peacefully. An illegal immigrant is just that. Somebody who broke our laws to enter or country. By the way. per Federal law. If you aide or harbor an illegal, you just broke the law !
    Amongst all of the reasons for civil unrest these days are my two favorite problem areas. Disrespect and disregard. We do not teach any of those important subjects in school. Should the young learn our history and laws, there would be more respect and less chaos. The other problem area is that our young have not served in the military since the repeal of the draft. Sure to get a rise out of almost everyone, I believe that just as in most of the world, you should be obligated to serve your country. You don’t have to carry a gun. You could be a thousand other things besides combat trained. The idea of serving, is to let you know that you are a (valuable) part of something bigger than yourself.
    On a lighter note. You made mention of Massachusetts and Manchester. They both like football. Just two different varieties.

    1. I support universal service — but the USSC just declined to hear a case saying women, like men, should have to register for the non-existent draft.
      So much for “equity” and women’s equality.

  2. Further proof the Marxists have corrupted all forms of media.When is someone going to stop the lies and lack of common sense from the media? It may be too late already.

  3. Stu–
    Haven’t trusted AP in years for the very same reason I don’t trust any “mainstream” newspapers or TV channels. They’re so biased towards the left and “wokeness” that they are unreadable and unwatchable. I read the Daily News for years because I had made a promise to you that I would as long as you were still there. Couldn’t read the Editorial section or anyone other than you and Christine Flowers. Once you both were no longer there, neither was I. Occasionally I would grab the paper for the Sports section, but then even the sports writers turned out to be biased towards
    leftist causes. Witness their over the top love for Colin Kaepernick and others of the same ilk.
    Now I tend to just watch and read articles by a few favorites. I know I’m placing myself in a vacuum but it helps to keep my blood pressure manageable.

  4. I recently observed that in Psychology magazine that many men are becoming feminized in their abilities to confront tense situations. The press has formed an agenda that can only be called white guilt with a dash of capitulation thrown in when faced with protesters or outcries against a position against a riotous action. In other words, the press has been infiltrated by cowardly editors who seek acceptance rather than factual reporting. Eventually, if our children are taught properly in the early grades that today’s problem is pigmentation when it should be the content of a person’s character. Associated Press is as you stated giving in to the soft language to be liked instead of just stating the actual words available in the Dictionary to just make the point without the side issue of wanting to be one-sided and appreciated.

  5. AP/November 9-10, 1938: “There were unconfirmed reports of unrest in Germany that resulted in several broken windows. The cause of the disturbance is under investigation.:

  6. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu & readers,

    Multiculturalism and identity politics are quite capable of pulling the country apart into warring demographic groups. This is basically a lesson I draw from the whole of American history. When factionalism arises to the level of threatening the republic, it has usually taken the form of elevating ethnic sensibilities and foreign loyalties above the national motto: E pluribus unum” –out of many, one.

    As I see the matter, the current problem originated from the politics of the Clintons and the Clintonite Democrats. They aimed to bring the racially polarized politics of the South up to the national level –only reversing the favoritism involved–and to generalize it to include all the racial and ethnic demographic groups. That’s how our polarized politics originated, though it took nearly a generation to more fully take hold. Recall that Clinton was Governor of Arkansas before becoming President; and Hilary, as the Governor’ s wife, used to speak with a Southern accent!

    The most important counter-measure right now is that people actually talk to each other across the various divides –otherwise, the imagination tends to run wild. “PC” tends to inhibit the discussions, making “eligibility” demands on speech prior to exchanges.

    H.G. Callaway

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