Jay Leno and the Associated Press Stylebook are not on the same page as it were.
Jay Leno, the host — for now — of the Tonight Show, joked about the sanctimonious announcement from AP that it was banning the terminology “illegal immigrant” from its news coverage and dropping it from its stylebook altogether, which perhaps was a result of pressure from open-borders lobbying organizations.
In the nod to how the immigration reform has become politicized, Jay Leno made this comment in his opening monologue to audience laughter and applause:
“And in a groundbreaking move, the Associated Press, the largest news gathering outlet in the world, will no longer use the term ‘illegal immigrant.’ That is out. No longer ‘illegal immigrant.’ They will now use the phrase ‘undocumented Democrat.’ That is the newest – ‘undocumented Democrat.’ “
Leno, who himself is a liberal, is referring to the notion that Democrats deep down view amnesty or the equivalent regardless of the details in any final legislation merely as a political mechanism to swell the voter rolls with presumed new supporters for their party.
Ironically, the AP speech police previously rejected the term “undocumented” because “a person may have plenty of documents, just not the ones required for legal residence.” Under this latest update to the wire service’s stylebook, AP claims that “illegal” should only be used to describe an act rather than a person. Instead, AP is suggesting the following ponderous language as an alternative to the “illegal immigrant” description: “Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.”
Two prominent government officials, one Democrat and one Republican, from the same border state apparently disagree with the change in AP style. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona who did not have a sterling record on border security when she was in office there by any means, and still doesn’t, had this to say about the use of specific terminology (but prior the AP announcement that it was dropping “illegal immigrant”):
“I don’t really get caught up in the vocabulary wars. They are immigrants who are here illegally. It’s an illegal immigrant. They are immigrants who are here without documents. That’s an undocumented immigrant.”
Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who is part of the negotiation team on immigration reform legislation, chimed in last week on the same subject:
“Someone who crosses our borders illegally is here illegally. You can call it whatever you want to, but it’s illegal. I think there’s a big difference between someone who does something that’s illegal and someone who’s undocumented. I’ll continue to call it illegal.”
Do you agree with AP on the change in language or do you think this is just another example of media political correctness and ideological bias?