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June 8, 2023

Why Approved Media Language Matters

The AP’s recent updated guidance on transgenderism betrays its bias and negatively affects conservative free speech.

Who cares what the Associated Press style manual says? That may be the question on the minds of many conservatives, but we can assure you it matters a great deal, whether or not you read the AP.

For one thing, the AP stylebook is the most common set of journalistic guidelines used by news outlets across the political spectrum (though, for the record, not including The Patriot Post). That doesn’t mean conservative organizations use everything in that manual without modification, but the influence is still there, as are the stories themselves, which are often simply republished on various websites.

For another, social media thought police rely on supposedly “objective” sources like the AP when deciding what opinions to silence.

It’s a racketeering operation. Media rating organizations hire left-wing former journalists to look at the standards and practices of Leftmedia outfits, declare them to be the gold standard, and then rate those organizations highly for having adhered to their own rules. Conservative outlets, which exist in the first place as a counter to mainstream media bias, often don’t adhere to those same standards and openly declare their bias in order to stand against the Left. So, the leftist journalists who declared themselves gatekeepers use their purported authority to give conservatives demerits for not adhering to left-wing rules.

Your humble team here has experience with this protection racket. Last year, we were downgraded by the hacks at NewsGuard, a news rating “authority” used by social media, and one of our “offenses” is practically straight out of the AP style guide. We allegedly used “homophobic” and “transphobic” language — terms that betray a clear political bias of their own.

Which brings us back to that AP guide.

The AP recently published its Transgender Coverage Topical Guide, which expands the grip of the Rainbow Mafia over how the news media may talk about the Rainbow Mafia.

We can understand avoiding admittedly politically charged words like “groomer” or “mutilation” when talking about this stuff. The AP is supposed to produce straight news, after all, not political analysis like we do. Yet the AP insists on calling “groomer” an “often false” term, and if a reporter must quote someone using it, that reporter must include an immediate “fact-check” like this: “using a term that falsely links LGBTQ+ people’s interactions with children to the actions of child molesters.” Yes, opponents of sexual abuse of any type intentionally use that term because that’s what we think is happening. An opinion is not “false” just because the AP doesn’t like that opinion, but that’s the game these racketeers play.

Furthermore, here are a few examples of things that betray the AP’s clear political bias and agenda:

Use preferred pronouns, the style guide says, but just don’t call them that. Instead, say things like “the pronouns they use, whose pronouns are, who uses the pronouns.” (That’s funny — the AP refers to self-identified pro-lifers as “anti-abortion.” Why can’t we choose our own label?)

Use “gender-affirming care” to describe various medical treatments from puberty blockers to hormones to surgery that are used to change gender and often leave patients with lifelong health problems from scarring to infertility. How is that “affirming” again?

“Avoid terms like biological sex, along with biological male and biological female, which opponents of transgender rights sometimes use to refer to transgender women and transgender men, respectively.”

“Avoid references to a transgender person being born a boy or girl, or phrasing like birth gender.” Instead, “Sex assigned at birth is the accurate terminology.” In fact, the AP tells its reporters, “Sex is usually assigned at birth by parents or attendants, sometimes inaccurately.”

Inaccurately? Call us crazy, but it’s not that difficult to tell the difference between genitalia.

It sure is hard to pin down a science denier. The Rainbow Mafia is always screaming about how sex is different from gender because the former is biology and the latter is identity. Indeed, the AP says “sex is inherently biological.” But if someone is “assigned” sex at birth, doesn’t that also make sex a social construct? And why is the way to correct this “inaccuracy” to “transition” a person to the opposite sex gender?

“Avoid references to both, either or opposite sexes or genders.” Oh.

Perhaps the most revealing AP style item is this: “Do not use the term transgenderism, which frames transgender identity as an ideology.”

Well, it is an ideology, though it’s also more than that — it’s a cult. We say so because it has all the markings of one, including demanding approved language and subjecting adherents to degrading humiliation and/or self-harm to show devotion to the cause.

Yet the AP wants to avoid even hinting at that truth in its reporting and in fact essentially instructs its reporters to join the cult. The rest of us pay the price by at best getting biased news and at worst not even being allowed to disagree. The AP is thus, as Thomas Jefferson once lamented, one of the “chimnies to carry off noxious vapors and smoke.”

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