The AP annually updates its stylebook in the spring to give journalists guidance on style and grammar, but the latest Stylebook for 2017, censors a number of ordinary words in what clearly illustrates a will to distort reality.
Fox News host Shannon Bream on Tuesday also listed changes that have some questioning if the intent is to black out words conservatives would likely use.
In an article for the Hill, Alexander explains how editors regularly replace the “offending” terms with politically correct or neutral alternatives when journalists submit their work.
There are no longer “terrorists” or “Islamists” but “militants, lone wolves or attackers,” while migrants have become “people struggling to enter Europe”.
“We’re seeing these words increasingly scrubbed from news articles and replaced by politically correct words instead,” Alexander said during an interview with Fox & Friends.
With “illegals” and “alien” having already been nixed years ago, the AP now cautions that “Illegal immigrant” and “undocumented” are now also unacceptable, but have not found suitable replacements yet.
“The stylebook also instructs writers to use confusing language about guns in order to create a negative impression about them,” Alexander says. “Semi-automatic rifles that have add-on parts intended to increase shooting accuracy are to be called ‘assault weapons’ despite the fact the term has referred to fully automatic weapons used by the military for years. The latter are now referred to as ‘assault rifles’ and the two are often conflated. Adding even more to the confusion, the phrase ‘military style’ is recommended to describe assault weapons.”
Similarly abortion is presented in a strictly biased manner. “A pro-life author who submits a piece taking a position against abortion will see the words “pro-life” changed to “anti-abortion,” because the AP Stylebook instructs, “Use anti-abortion instead of pro-life and pro-abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice,” she explains.
The guide also forbids referring to those who question man-made climate change as “skeptics” or “deniers,” because such critics may not be given any credibility. Instead they have to be described as “those who reject mainstream climate science”.
“How can the mainstream media correct their bias, when the bias is already built into their stylebooks?” Alexander pointedly asks.