How the Media Distorts News: AP Tells Reporters to Stop Referring to “Ground Zero Mosque”

August 20, 2010

The Associated Press has offered us a glimpse into how mainstream media journalists distort news by replacing accurate terms with euphemisms. In an Aug. 19 memo from Associated Press Deputy Managing Editor for Standards and Production Tom Kent reporters are told the following:

We should continue to avoid the phrase “ground zero mosque” or “mosque at ground zero” on all platforms. (We’ve very rarely used this wording, except in slugs, though we sometimes see other news sources using the term.) The site of the proposed Islamic center and mosque is not at ground zero, but two blocks away in a busy commercial area. We should continue to say it’s “near” ground zero, or two blocks away.


In short headlines, some ways to refer to the project include:

_ mosque 2 blocks from WTC site
_ Muslim (or Islamic) center near WTC site
_ mosque near ground zero
_ mosque near WTC site

We can refer to the project as a mosque, or as a proposed Islamic center that includes a mosque.

What AP fails to note is that parts of one of the airplanes that hit one of the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 crashed into the building currently at the size of the proposed mosque. If parts of the plane and possibly body parts from the victims on the plane crashed into the site, how is wrong to refer to the as “Ground Zero”?

The memo goes on to provide a politically correct version on President Obama’s position on the mosque mixing his original statement with his later back pedaling. It also claims to provide “fact checks” on various statements by conservatives made against the proposed Ground Zero mosque.

You can read more on the AP memo at Hot Air and this article by Frank Gaffney.

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