The announcement, with a suggestion form, can be found here (thanks to L.), and reads:
We’re planning the 2011 edition of the AP Stylebook and we want to hear your suggestions. What entries would you like to see? What terms would you like defined? What questions would you like us to answer?
AP editors will consider all submissions when preparing the 2011 AP Stylebook, and some may be published.
The editors also will choose their favorite suggestions and reward the authors with either a free year’s subscription to AP Stylebook Online or a free download of the AP Stylebook mobile app for iPhone or iPod touch….
Well, with fabulous prizes to be won, where does one begin? Of course, we have commented for years on the linguistic gymnastics mainstream journalists undertake to write Islam out of acts of violence, coercion, and terrorism committed out of the jihadist imperative to impose Islamic law. The Associated Press has been as much a part of this social agenda in journalism as any, with fellow travelers in academia (for example, Michigan State), and the U.S. government under Bush as well as Obama, all of whom have made it a policy to avoid terms like “jihadist,” “Islamist,” and wherever possible, “Islam” or “Muslim.” The last two must be used in positive terms only, lest one find oneself accused of “incitement,” or of “radicalizing” the most easily insulted and provoked demographic on the planet.
However, the AP earned the dubious distinction of rocketing to the front of the pack this past summer with its Newspeak mini-manual on how its journalists were to discuss the Ground Zero mega-mosque, abandoning all pretense of impartiality and plainly establishing an openly pro-mosque agenda.
So, here are just a few modest proposals for the 2011 Stylebook, and there are countless more one might think of:
1. Authentic journalism should entail giving people a hearing in the way they describe themselves and not putting words in their mouths. Why the fear of reporting on jihadists in that way, with the texts and teachings they themselves quote as their motivation? Why the fear of the term “jihad” as Islamic holy war? Because it casts Islam in a negative light? It is not the role of journalism to protect Islam or anything else from negative feelings. But it shows the media has bought into the notion that all criticism of Islam is “incitement,” and will lead to paroxysms of hatred and “backlash,” the specter of which the mainstream media is ever eager to pursue as a red herring in the wake of jihadist crimes.
2. Pursuant to the previous item: No more patronizingly filtered, nanny-state journalism. The AP should be in the business of reporting news, not extruding the journalistic equivalent of baby food for a feeble-minded populace who can only handle so much.
3. No more bending over backwards to avoid the role of Islam in ongoing terrorism cases, or to avoid calling the perpetrators Muslims. We all know that if hypothetical perpetrators were preachers quoting the Book of Revelation, that would be in the headline and lead paragraph. They would not be “men,” or, for example, “Chicago men,” and so forth.
Stop the double standards. Stop the special treatment of Islam. Stop insulting readers’ intelligence.