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Thomas Gallatin / October 6, 2020

AP’s PC Police Nix ‘Riot’ in Stylebook

The Leftmedia keeps expanding the definition of “protest” to include violence.

When is a riot not a riot? Well, according to the leftists over at the Associated Press, when it can be connected to a protest over leftist grievances. Following the string of riots that erupted in several cities after the death of George Floyd, the Leftmedia, keen to excuse the violence, spun the rioting into the laughable phrase “mostly peaceful protests.” Following a deluge of criticism mocking the Leftmedia’s fallacious narrative and factually false reporting, the AP apparently decided to reset the narrative with new guidance to its language stylebook.

In a message released on September 30, the AP announced what amounts to a definitional change in our cultural understanding of language. The AP says, “A riot is a wild or violent disturbance of the peace involving a group of people. The term riot suggests uncontrolled chaos and pandemonium.” Therefore, since “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,” the AP pontificates, the news service will no longer use the term “riot.” In place of “riot,” the AP Stylebook called for the use of more ambiguous terms such as “unrest” due to the fact that it “is a vaguer, milder and less emotional term for a condition of angry discontent and protest verging on revolt.”

Furthermore, the AP asserted, “Protest and demonstration refer to specific actions such as marches, sit-ins, rallies or other actions meant to register dissent. They can be legal or illegal, organized or spontaneous, peaceful or violent, and involve any number of people.” In other words, “protest” can now encompass “rioting.” Talk about shading the truth.

Rioting should trigger emotions, because it clearly defines activity that is violent, destructive, and harmful to both property and people. To suggest that accurately describing the actions of a group should be avoided due to concern over negative emotions is, quite frankly, disingenuous and absurd. This is the AP running cover for leftist rioting thugs whose cause they evidently find solidarity with. This is simply a blatant argument for deceiving the public rather than informing them. But that’s what leftists do — redefine the language to suit their agenda.

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