Riots? What riots?

The mainstream media has gone out of its way to avoid reporting on the riots erupting across the nation, and now the venerable AP has issued some new directives that further show the media covering for (but not actually covering) the left.

The new directives concern reporting on riots, and it boils down to this: Don’t call riots riots. The AP, whose language and grammar rules are widely used, laid out guidelines concerning the R-word policy in a series of tweets (thanks to Bronson Stocking for noticing this development).

Here is the AP’s first tweet:

New guidance on AP Stylebook Online: 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. (1/5)

You probably think that “riot” is an apt word for the widespread arson, mayhem, destruction of private property, including that of minority business owners, and killing recently taking place in U.S. cities. But you would be wrong. The AP cautions:

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. (2/5)

When, for example, two cops are shot in their police car, focus on lynching or police brutality and the 1960s. Don’t hold back on your own interpretations, especially if you studied Theory at an Ivy League school.

‘Course as whole sections of American towns and cities go up in flames, you might find that taking notice is sometimes unavoidable. You’ll need a word to describe the mayhem. The AP word of choice seems to be “unrest”:

Unrest is a vaguer, milder and less emotional term for a condition of angry discontent and protest verging on revolt. (3/5)

Can you imagine the salty guys and gals on old city desks telling their troops to go for the “vaguer” word that does not capture reality?   

“Protest” is the word of choice, because, as the AP notes, …

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.

So, the cold-blooded murder of David Dorn, a retired St. Louis policeman who was shot by a rally participant while trying to protect a friend’s small business during a spot of unrest, is best seen as a way for oppressed people to “register dissent”?

Glad we got that cleared up.