The Associated Press Stylebook is more than just a set of guidelines for journalists. It is a shield behind which leftists in the media hide in order to use language that supports their leftist ideology. They don’t play by the rules of fairness and equity that they project on others. To them, every story is another opportunity to propagandize for their preferred causes. If you think I’m overstating my case, just take a look at the most recently released guidelines from the AP Stylebook regarding abortion language.
As you might expect, the term “pro-life” is prohibited. Instead, journalists are supposed to use the term “anti-abortion,” in contrast to the other side, which is supposed to be referred to as “abortion rights advocates.” In a war on language, being “anti-“ anything is a much weaker position than being the one fighting for someone’s rights.
In my mind, the most egregious recommendation comes from a section governing the use of “fetus” versus “unborn baby.” You might think that they would completely ban the use of “unborn baby,” but that is not actually the case. They start the section by explaining that human development up to ten weeks is scientifically referred to as an “embryo,” while human development from eleven weeks through birth is referred to as a “fetus.” After mandating that these clinical terms always be used in the abortion debate, they include this little caveat which gives away the entirety of their bias: “The context or tone of a story can allow for unborn baby or child in cases where fetus could seem clinical or cold.” An example they give is “Weiss said her love for her unborn baby was the strongest feeling she had ever felt.”
In other words, when you are trying to make pro-lifers look silly, use cold clinical terms and fall back on scientific naming as your excuse. But when you aren’t talking about abortion, it is okay to call the baby what we all know it is: an unborn baby. This is the fight we are fighting for language. Conservatives would do well to recognize it. Never – and I mean never – surrender the linguistic high ground! That is how you win the fight.