The scoop: Last week, it was revealed that Politico sent a new style guide to its journalists early last year, listing words and phrases they should refrain from using in their reports. The phrases were related to politically charged topics like gender, immigration, and abortion.
Banned phrases: Journalists were advised not to say “biological sex” or that a transgender person “identifies as” a certain gender.” “Crack the whip” was banned due to its origin in slavery. “Illegal immigrant”, “anchor baby”, and “third-world country” were deemed derogatory. The terms “pro-choice”, “pro-life,” and “late-term abortion” were to be replaced with “abortion rights supporter,” “anti-abortion,” and “abortion later in pregnancy.”
Implications for journalism: These guidelines force journalists to frame stories politically, legitimizing the progressive gender ideology and delegitimizing the pro-life movement. Similarly, the Associated Press also made changes to its stylebook recently regarding these topics, most notably smearing crisis pregnancy centers. By pressuring journalists to use language that validates one set of political beliefs, these guidelines deter objective reporting and inquiry.