When someone loots, sets businesses (and, apparently, private homes, too) on fire, intimidating innocent citizens, all in the cause of what they call racial equality, just because a convicted felon, in the process of committing another crime, dies, allegedly by a police officer’s hand, what do you call it?
The Associated Press knows: if it is Black Lives Matter or Antifa or someone of their kind, it’s NOT a riot. It’s a peaceful protest, or demonstration.
Whether the person announcing this was ashamed and was only a poor messenger remains to be revealed, but the tweeted message announcing the change was signed by AP Stylebook.
Basic dictionaries define riot as “wild or violent disturbance of the peace.”
That does not sit too well with the politically correct purists at the Associated Press. Riot, they say, “suggests uncontrolled chaos and pandemonium.”
Tsk-tsk, thus the Associated Press: “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…”
A career criminal, caught while committing yet another crime, is apprehended and dies. It is alleged he dies because of a police officer’s actions. Evidence suggests otherwise (heart failure due to drug overdose, and the drug was illicit).
An emergency department worker’s boyfriend opens fire at police officers who have come to conduct a legal search, using a proper warrant, because of drug trafficking allegations, the officers return fire, and the woman dies in the crossfire.
Of course, for those with longer memories, the Associated Press has a pretty long record of trying to introduce changes to reporting news in a most sneaky way.
In the 1960s, an AP photographer took a picture of a South Vietnamese police general executing a Vietcong officer right on the spot. A dramatic picture, but published cropped: the original included a burning daycare garden into which the Vietcong officer threw a powerful hand grenade, tearing several children to pieces.
The photograph would become a mighty symbol for all those Americans (and others) opposed to U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
It may be of interest that later accounts have claimed that the Vietcong officer was alleged to have just cut the throats of South Vietnamese Lt. Col. Nguyen Tuan, his wife, their six children and the officer’s 80-year-old mother. Not so.
Yes, the Vietcong officer was deprived of what is known the justice process, except: all of this happened in a war. As is known, wars are the worst betrayers of basic human rights.
This is not an excuse. This is a fact.
In any case, what the Associated Press has been doing with its cleansing operations involving both facts and the language describing them, is criminal.
We can use the Orwellian “memory hole” expression to characterize it, but that won’t come close to what is happening.
Today’s practitioners of the trade of journalism, especially those in what has become known as mainstream media, have quite obviously adopted the strange view that their job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Professionals usually tend to dismiss it as one social workers should embrace, perhaps, but, come to think of it, on second thought, it is wrong for them, too.
The role of journalism is to report as fully and as quickly and as honestly as possible on events as they happen, and on people within those events. It is a 24-hour-a-day job, for seven days a week, and 52 weeks a year.
There are two kinds of practitioners of the trade: reporters and journalists. Reporters cover the events, journalists think they are the events.
Some people become reporters because they are curious. Others become curious once they get to graduate from journalism schools as reporters.
These days, there are way too many journalists, and too few reporters, and too few reporters who decided to get into this field because of their sheer curiosity.
This is what creates the climate for politically correct morons who think they should be reporting on who is doing what to whom, instead of reporting on what is going on.
All meaning is lost
The new AP Stylebook revision is pretty open about it: protest and demonstration replace looting and violence, and when the violent looters say that they are fighting the powerful or, even, the government, what they are doing becomes either a revolt or an uprising.
So, the reporting is then based on whatever vocabulary the violently criminal rioters and looters decide to choose, not on fact.
The AP Stylebook crowd explain their decision in a manner that is worse than shocking. For example: the word unrest is preferred simply because it is “a vaguer, milder and less emotional term for a condition of angry discontent and protest verging on revolt.”
The AP Stylebook has been creating records of their own in recent past. First, they decided to capitalize the words black and indigenous. At least, they were smart enough to stress in their announcement that the capitalization ought to happen only when it is linked to racial, ethnic or cultural matters. So, black hair in and of itself remains lower case. Hallelujah.
AP’s vice-president for standards John Daniszewski had the chutzpah to write that, “White people in general have much less shared history and culture, and don’t have the experience of being discriminated against because of skin colour.”
To make sure all and sundry understood what he meant, Daniszewski added: “Capitalizing the term ‘white,’ as is done by white supremacists, risks subtly conveying legitimacy to such beliefs.”
If the Associated Press wanted to be group of village idiots, it would have been their issue. Their book, known by its full title as The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, appeared first in 1953, that is, 67 years ago.
Canada has her own media bible, The Canadian Press Stylebook. Its major thrust follows the ideas expressed in its AP older sibling. It offers some different spelling (ou instead of o in colour or labour, for example), and it deals with some differences in laws as they pertain to media.
Other than that, it is slowly becoming as idiotic as its American forerunner.
George Orwell predicted it all in his 1984 novel, as well as in his numerous other writings, including his brilliant essay, Politics and the English language. It saw the day of light in 1946, that is, almost three quarters of a century ago.
The main crime is that both The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law and The Canadian Press Stylebook have become bibles in their respective countries. In any case, thorough knowledge is a must in their countries’ journalism schools.
Most media depend on the Associated Press (and, in Canada, on the Canadian Press) as their main sources, especially when it comes to spot news.
The result: most media are now spreading mostly politically motivated and biased drivel that doesn’t inform. To sum up, most media are spreading mostly politically motivated and biased propaganda.
And that is a crime worse than any of the indiscriminate (and criminal) rioting that The Associated Press tries so hard to cover up.