It’s rather astounding—but if you’re a reporter working for the Associated Press, you may not call the growing and very real crisis on the southern border a “crisis,” according to the outlet’s style guide and directives for employees.
Staffers were cautioned by the AP’s John Daniszewski, vice president and editor-at-large for standards at the outlet, that the U.S. immigration emergency at the southern border does not yet meet the dictionary definition of the word “crisis,” according to the Washington Examiner.
In a recent internal memo, titled “From the Standards Center: A note about the current increase in border entrances,” Daniszewski instructed staff instead to aim for “accurate and neutral language.”
“The current events in the news—a sharp increase in the arrival of unaccompanied minors—is a problem for border officials, a political challenge for Biden and a dire situation for many migrants who make the journey,” the memo went on, “but it does not fit the classic dictionary definition of a crisis.”
Many other publications follow the AP’s well-known style guide and use it as a blueprint for their own in-house styles—so this decision by the AP has longer, stronger tentacles than one may think.
President Joe Biden, by the way, also does not want Americans to call the crisis a “crisis.”
And neither he nor Vice President Kamala Harris—whom Biden put in charge of the border crisis but now is focused instead on examining the “root causes” of it—will be seeing the crisis firsthand at the border any time soon, according to the administration.
As the Examiner also noted about the nuanced terminology discussion, “A spokesman for the Associated Pressconfirmed the authenticity of the memo, which was circulated online first by journalist Julio Ricardo Varela, in a statement to Fox News.”
If reporters want to use the word “crisis,” the memo also reads, they must first ask “of what and to whom.”
The AP memo went on: “There could be a humanitarian crisis if the numbers grow so large that officials cannot house the migrants safely or in sanitary conditions. Migrants may face humanitarian crises in their home countries. In theory, there could be a security or a border crisis if officials lose control of the border, allowing people to enter unencumbered in large numbers. But, in general, avoid hyperbole in calling anything a crisis or an emergency.”
This, in spite of the fact that a “pod” at a border facility in Donna, Texas, that was designed for 32 migrant children is now holding 615 children, according to a CBS reporter.
And this, despite the fact that when a group of nearly 20 GOP senators toured the facilities late last week, they saw appalling and emergency conditions that can only, in fairness, be called a crisis.
Funny how under one administration, certain groups and individuals won’t call the crisis a “crisis.” But under a different administration (of far different political leanings)—the word really wasn’t a problem at all.
The bottom line is that America faces an urgent, serious—and yes, crisis situation of illegal immigration—and it must be solved immediately for the good of our country.
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—By CNJ Staff