Boycott Watch  
April 3, 2013
AP Stylebook Declares Political Partisanship, Inherently Calls for Reporters to Boycott Itself
Summary: Yet another business declares a boycott of itself.
  The Bogosphere is buzzing with the realization the Associated Press Style Book, the bible of the reporting world, dropped the term "Illegal Immigrant" in favor of "Undocumented Worker." Of course that is politically charged, and is perhaps why only those on the right of the political spectrum are speaking out. For example, Debbie Schlussel wrote an article titled "Is Anyone Surprised that AP Dropped "Illegal Immigrant" From Its Stylebook (Back in October)?" and Yisrael Medad wrote "So, AP, What Am I Now?".

    In his posting, Mr. Medad who lives in Shilo, Israel asks: "So, am I still an "illegal settler"? Living in an "illegal settlement"? Am I not a "revenant" residing in a community?"

    Mr. Medad brings up a very good point. While the AP is playing politics, it is inherently discriminating against Israel by joining the Arab boycott of Israel. The fact is the AP should therefore drop the equally discriminating term "Occupied Territories" when discussing Israel. As detailed in the book Boycotting Peace by Fred Taub, the Oslo Agreement inherently nullified the Palestinian claim of "Occupied Territories." When the Palestinians accepted the Oslo Agreement which assigns land to Jews and Arabs, the Palestinian Arabs accepted autonomy. It is simply illogical to have an autonomous occupation - you just can't have it both ways.

    Boycott Watch President Fred Taub said "The AP is about reporting the news fairly which they are not doing here. Instead, they are deciding the results of a political issue for reporters who are supposed to be fair and objective. The AP may as well come out and declare a victory for other left-wing political groups as well by declaring all meat is murder, that abortions are right up to the moment of birth is acceptable for people of all faiths, and that Jews in Israel may only live where Arabs say they can live. The AP has inherently declared itself politically partisan and I would not be surprised to see the AP losing its status as the sole arbiter of news reporting style, opening the door for a competing style book to take hold. The AP is literally asking reporters to boycott them."

    Boycott Watch has often warned businesses against taking sides in politically partisan issues, but what makes this case unique is not that a news organization has declared a political orientation, but rather the single rulebook for writers which has enjoyed the status of non-partisanship just threw out their own rules. "They have created writers anarchy" continued Fred Taub. "All writers may as well all forgo capitalization rules, newspapers may has well skip by-lines and for that matter, why give credit for quotes anymore? The AP has declared their own politics are more important than anyone else's, or anything else for that matter. As such, about half the writers will inherently be boycotting the AP Stylebook. I do not know what percentage of AP profits comes from Style Book sales, but it does not take a marketing genius to realize the AP will lose sales as a result, thus affecting their overall profit margin."

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