Politico Orders Staffers Not to Use the Word 'Crisis' to Describe Crisis at Border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

I admit to giggling when I read this story. A liberal publication like Politico caring about the “dictionary definition” of a word in the English language? Stop the presses and hold that first edition!


Indeed, the universal angst demonstrated by liberal publications over the dilemma of whether they should actually agree with conservative media and call the crisis at the border what it is — a crisis — is moot at this point. Ever since Joe Biden used to word “crisis” to describe the border situation, publications like Politico have been caught between trying to protect the president from those meaney conservatives and accurately describing the situation.

The Politico editor sent a memo out to staffers telling them not to use the term “crisis” because “it does not fit the dictionary definition of a crisis.” That is truly great news. When are they going to get around to using the “dictionary definition” of “racist” to describe the Georgia voting law?

“Avoid referring to the present situation as a crisis, although we may quote others using that language while providing context. While the sharp increase in the arrival of unaccompanied minors is a problem for border officials, a political challenge for the Biden administration and a dire situation for many migrants who make the journey, it does not fit the dictionary definition of a crisis,” the memo from deputy production director Maya Parthasarathy reads. “If using the word ‘crisis,’ we need to ask of what and to whom.”


Washington Examiner:

“This wasn’t a company-wide memo — it was an email to relevant employees sharing AP style guidance — the industry standard — which you can find here,” a spokesperson for Politico told the Washington Examiner.

The memo referenced a number of style books aside from the Associated Press, including the Diversity Style Guide and the National Association for Hispanic Journalists Cultural Competence Handbook. The memo’s guidance did not track the Associated Press’s words verbatim.

So the “dictionary definition” is less relevant and important than the National Association for Hispanic Journalists Cultural Competence Handbook?

Dictionary.com defines a crisis as “a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.” The Cambridge English Dictionary describes a crisis as “a time of great disagreement, confusion or suffering.”

The White House has denied the word applies, but Biden and spokeswoman Jen Psaki have both used the word in unguarded moments, prompting walk-back efforts.

Such care and concern for the English language! If 100,000 people show up at our border in one month — unannounced and uninvited — most reasonable people would describe that as a “crisis” no matter what Joe Biden, Jen Psaki, and most Democrats say. But this is America in the early 21st century where words and ideas are fungible and language itself is put to work in the cause of revolution. Repeat after me: THERE IS NO CRISIS AT THE BORDER! See how easy it was to make the crisis disappear?


Biden has removed the bad optics that screamed “crisis” on our television screens. No more little kids in cages. The kids have been rushed into the waiting arms of “sponsors” who even the Biden administration admit aren’t vetted as carefully as they should be. No pictures of refugees crowding into understaffed immigration facilities. If adults show up at the border, they’re sent home or made to wait in Mexico.

Gee. It’s almost like they were never here.

This is a non-crisis crisis because the gatekeepers in the media have determined it isn’t a crisis at all. It’s a “problem,” or a “challenge,” or a “dire situation” but by no means, is it a crisis in any way, shape, or form.

Just check the dictionary and you’ll see that I’m right.


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