News & Politics

The AP Stylebook Now Doesn't Want a Riot to Be Called a 'Riot'

(AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

The death of George Floyd sparked a wave of riots and looting that has plagued cities across the country. Buildings have been burned. People have been assaulted and killed. Stores have been looted. But, according to latest addition to the Associated Press Stylebook Newspeak Dictionary, you shouldn’t be using the word “riot” anymore.

“A riot is a wild or violent disturbance of the peace involving a group of people. The term riot suggests uncontrolled chaos and pandemonium,” explained the AP Stylebook’s official Twitter account on Wednesday. “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.”

Because of this alleged problem, the AP is now saying that the word “unrest” should be used instead of “riot” because—and I’m not joking here—it is less “emotional.”

“Unrest is a vaguer, milder and less emotional term for a condition of angry discontent and protest verging on revolt,” they argue.

To make matters worse, the AP then seems to suggest that “protest” and “demonstration” are adequate alternatives to “riot” as well. “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.”

In other words, riots, according to the Associated Press, fit under the umbrella terms “protest” and “demonstration.”

The Associated Press has now given cover for the mainstream media to stop using the word “riots” to describe riots. And we all know the reason why.

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Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trumpand the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis

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