A rioter in Portland gets set ablaze by a Molotov cocktail on Sept. 5, 2020 (Video screenshot)

The Associated Press, the venerable news organization that began when information moved from city to city by telegraph wire, already has urged journalists to avoid casting Antifa and Black Lives Matter violence as “riots” and use the term “unrest” instead.

Now, countering President Trump’s portrayal of the hundreds of people arrested nationwide in protests as violent urban left-wing radicals, the AP is casting them as “regular citizens,” drawing a loud guffaw on Twitter.

“I hate when I get caught up in the moment and starting [sic] lighting buildings on fire and robbing target,” wrote Twitter user Reginald Trollington.

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The AP said the Department of Justice “is using aggressive tactics against those it has charged in the civil unrest over systemic racism.”

“Those people have been portrayed by President Donald Trump as violent left-wing radicals. The Republican president has used the protests to try to scare white, suburban voters into reelecting him. But an Associated Press review of thousands of pages of court documents from the more than 300 federal arrests made nationwide shows most are just regular citizens caught up in the moment. Very few of those charged appear to be affiliated with any highly organized extremist groups. Many are young suburban adults with little criminal history, from the very neighborhoods Trump vows to protect.”

Would yo say today’s rioters are ‘regular citizens’?

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Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell tweeted, “The @AP is giving aid and comfort to rioters and looters.”

A Twitter user posted intimidating mug shots of some of the people arrested and commented, “Lol, yeah ‘looks like regular citizens.'”

Another said, “John Wilkes Booth: ‘I was caught up in the moment.'”

“‘Regular citizens’ don’t burn down buildings, harass fellow citizens, or assault police officers,” another Twitter user wrote.

The Redstate blog said: “Apparently it’s Trump’s fault that you think they’re violent, don’t believe the evidence of your own eyes, says the AP. Or all the videos showing their violence, they’re not really trying to burn down the courthouse or attack the police.

“Let’s also talk about how racist. Sounds like the AP is trying to make some weird coded language distinction between ‘urban’ and ‘suburban’ kids, a distinction Trump never made, just referring to leftist radicals. Do they think only white kids live in the suburbs or only black kids live in urban areas? And ‘regular citizens?’ Are urban kids not ‘regular citizens?’ What the heck is this nonsense?”

Other establishment media outlets similarly have run interference for the rioters.

CNN portrayed rioting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as “fiery but mostly peaceful” in a chyron with businesses burning in the background.

Daily Caller investigative editor Peter J. Hasson deadpanned: “reporting to you live from Pearl Harbor, where America suffered a mostly peaceful surprise attack by the Japanese empire.”

Steve Guest recalled MSNBC’s Ali Velshi in May reporting from in front of a burning building in Minneapolis.

“I want to be clear on how I characterize this,” Velshi said. “This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly but fires have been started.”

The AP previously issued a series of tweets advising that reporters should use care in using the term “riot.”

The AP said:

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.

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

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.

Revolt and uprising both suggest a broader political dimension or civil upheavals, a sustained period of protests or unrest against powerful groups or government systems.

The AP also has advised replacing “illegal immigrant” with “undocumented immigrant” and abandoning the word “mistress.”

The American Thinker noted: “Professor Margot Cleveland quickly and brilliantly figured out why this change was announced now: ‘So apparently AP thinks @SenKamalaHarris will be Biden’s pick and they’re making sure everyone know proper language to use in discussing her political rise to power.”


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