The Associated Press has made a change to their Stylebook, dictating that the word "riot" should not be used to describe actual riots.
"Use care in deciding which term best applies," they instruct. "A riot is a wild or violent disturbance of the peace involving a group of people. The term riot suggests uncontrolled chaos and pandemonium."
Because of this, they don't want us to use the word "riot” even when it is applicable. They say, instead, that "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."
They don't want us to focus on property damage because the AP worries it sullies the message, and to make sure that gets across, they don't want us to believe that property destruction happens during a riot, but that it happens during a peaceful protest. They would rather we believe lies that conform to what they want to be true than know what the truth actually is.
Like so many leftists, the Associated Press is concerned that the public may take a dim view of the burning, looting, and random assaults currently rocking the US, and to fix those perceptions, they're changing what words mean.
Instead, even though the time period they reference is nearly 60 years in the past, the AP would like us to use the term "unrest," with the reasoning that it "is a vaguer, milder and less emotional term for a condition of angry discontent and protest verging on revolt."
The New York Post’s Sohab Ahmari responded to AP’s directive thusly: "F*ck right off. As an editor, I'm not going to use this guidance to lie to our readers about reality."
Ahmari hits the nail on the head here. That's precisely what this is about—changing the language to change our perception of reality.
The AP, however, doesn't really need to convince their fellow woke journalists. They’ve been calling riots "peaceful protests" for months now. CNN went so far as to declare riots in Kenosha "fiery yet peaceful protests." Someone actually typed that up and put it on screen. And then a reporter said it out loud, and he didn't even crack a smile.
Leftist media, otherwise known as mainstream media, have been gaslighting the public for quite a while now. All the Associated Press is doing here is trying to formalize it. They instruct journalists that "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."
This is the same narrative that was used after the riots erupted in the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. As crowds formed in Minneapolis and across the country, and protests devolved into incendiary, violent, riots, complete with looting and mayhem, mainstream media wanted to make sure that the viewing public, held captive in their COVID-restricted homes, knew that the "peaceful protestors" and the "violent rioters" were complete separate entities.
The story media and Democrat leaders wanted us to hear was that the innocent protestors were merely out in the streets to express their first amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, and that it was white supremacists who had infiltrated these crowds and manifested violence.
They kept telling us this even though it was an obvious lie, even though there was able evidence to contradict their claims. People don't believe this narrative of peaceful protests, we know that there are protests, and that not everyone devolves into violent bad actors intent on destroying property.
When they say "Revolt and uprising both suggest a broader political dimension or civil upheavals, a sustained period of protests or unrest against powerful groups or governing systems" it is because they want to tell us how to think about what's going on in our nation and our world, because they don't think we can think for ourselves.
We don't need the AP to redefine words for us, we know what words mean, and more importantly, we know what they don't mean. A riot is a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd of people.
We should all take a cue from Ahmari and collectively tell the AP to f*ck off.