The Associated Press, the largest news-gathering outlet in the world, will no longer use the term “illegal immigrant.”
The news came in the form of a blog entry authored by Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll on Tuesday afternoon, explaining that the decision is part of the company’s on-going attempt to rid their Stylebook of labels.
The company’s decision comes after years of controversy over the term. Fusion, the ABC-Univision joint venture, does not use “illegal immigrant” because we believe it dehumanizes those it describes and we find it to be linguistically inaccurate.
We wrote last year about how most of America’s top college newspapers and major TV networks, including ABC, NBC and CNN, have vowed to stop using the term. Nearly half of Latino voters polled last year in a Fox News Latino survey said that they find the term “illegal immigrant” offensive. A coalition of linguists also came together last year to pressure media companies to drop “illegal immigrant,” calling it “neither neutral nor accurate.” And some critics of the term, like journalist Maria Hinojosa, argue that those newsrooms that have continued to classify people as “illegal” lack diversity.
National Review’s Mark Krikorian quips:
In fact, why not ban nominalized adjectives altogether? If using “illegals” as a noun is barred (AP hasn’t allowed that for a while), shouldn’t they also prohibit “the rich,” “the poor,” “the disabled,” “the blind,” “the good,” “the bad,” “the ugly”? After all, no person is “poor,” they are just experiencing a lack of money.
This whole exercise is doubleplusungood.
For decades, liberals have been redefining words or shifting the focus off the words onto terms that oftentimes are not even RELATED to the words themselves (like the feminist use of the term “women’s health care” instead of “abortion”), and here they are, successful again, at getting major news organizations (as you can see from the above, it’s not just the AP) to stop using a CORRECT term and instead use politically correct terms which deliberately obfuscate the real issue. I’d go so far to say that this planned, coordinated tactic of definition-shifting/word-eliminating – in conjunction with the related political correctness that goes along with it – has done more to cheapen, coursen, and “dumb down” the national debate on a whole host of issues than any other method out there. Instead of frank and candid debates on stalemate issues, in order not to “hurt feelings” we sugar coat terms or strive to make them obsolete – and in the process, get absolutely no where. Definitely not forward.
Ironically, the AP and other news orgs claim they implement rules like this so as to appear that they are “not taking sides” in any debate – but the reality is that, by them doing so, it shows they are indeed taking sides in the debate: the liberal side.
Shocking, I know …