Politico exposed for appearing to ban the word ‘crisis’ to describe the southern border

President Joe Biden’s administration has gone to great lengths to avoid using the term “crisis” as a descriptor for the ongoing surge of migrants, particularly unaccompanied children, seeking entry at the southern border.

Now a major media outlet has embarked on a similarly self-censorious path, as Politico has reportedly banned its writers and editors from using the word “crisis” in its reporting on the situation at the border, according to the Washington Examiner.

The ban

The Examiner obtained an internal memo sent to Politico staffers from deputy production director Maya Parthasarathy regarding how the outlet would report on what was occurring at the southern border.

“Avoid referring to the present situation as a crisis, although we may quote others using that language while providing context,” the memo reportedly stated. “While the sharp increase in the arrival of unaccompanied minors is a problem for border officials, a political challenge for the Biden administration and a dire situation for many migrants who make the journey, it does not fit the dictionary definition of a crisis.”

“If using the word ‘crisis,’ we need to ask of what and to whom,” the director added.

Defining “crisis”

The claim that the current situation at the border doesn’t fit the “dictionary definition of a crisis” is rather disputable, however, as noted by the Examiner.

According to Dictionary.com, one of the definitions of the word “crisis” is: “a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.” If that doesn’t describe what is currently occurring at the southern border quite aptly, it is unclear what else would.

In seeking confirmation of the apparent ban on use of the word “crisis,” a spokesperson for Politico told the Examiner, “This wasn’t a company-wide memo — it was an email to relevant employees sharing AP style guidance — the industry standard — which you can find here.”

Indeed, the Associated Press — which does set style and usage standards for the media industry — published a blog post on March 26 that urged the media to use “accurate and neutral language” when reporting on the border situation and to refrain from using the term “crisis” to describe what was occurring.

The Examiner noted that while the Politico memo didn’t “track the (AP’s) words verbatim,” and Politico had referred to other style and usage guides as well, the phrasing used in the memo nonetheless bore plenty of similarities to the AP’s post.

Biden just called it a “crisis”

Interestingly enough, the Examiner pointed out that Biden himself slipped up and referred to the border situation as a “crisis” when answering questions from reporters about increasing the annual cap on refugees. Biden replied that the agency responsible for dealing with refugees “was working on the crisis that ended up on the border with young people.”

That slip-up from Biden was walked back by White House press secretary Jen Psaki during Monday’s press briefing, though, when she said, “The president does not feel that children coming to our border, seeking refuge from violence, economic hardships, and other … dire circumstances is a crisis,” but rather that the “crisis” he referred to was within Central America itself, and not at the southern border.

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18 Responses

    1. “Border chaos!” (noun) describing Joe Biden’s disintegrating immigration policy. Used in a sentence: All the propaganda in the world cannot hide Biden’s BORDER CHAOS.

    2. What hypocrites. Biden even said it was a crisis. I’ll repeat( it’s a CRISIS ) plus Politico is biased and I don’t really like reading their stories No loss

  1. The very fact that Biden is the president, even though he didn’t really win, is a crisis in and of itself!

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  3. Shouldn’t there have been stricter precautionary measures to prevent Covid 19 from coming across the border? So much for any sort of order. Just no words for such irresponsible actions. Who will be held accountable?

  4. Come on man……. IT’S A CRISIS………… It’s a CRISIS that Biden caused.. That makes it a BIDEN BORDER CRISIS!!!!!???!

  5. You two have it right! It is TOTAL chaos and never should have happened but with illegal illegal they want it all swept under the rug.

  6. Biden and his group of “helpers and string pullers” can call it an international picnic but it is still and impossible dangerous mess that no one in Biden’s group has a clue how to handle… but ignoring and giving it new names will not change the facts or the nightmare !!!

  7. Seems to be the precise definition according to Oxford!

    cri·sis /ˈkrīsis/
    a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger

  8. It is a total crises and hard working USA citizens tax money is paying for it!! Fix your screw up biden the moron!!!

  9. What did you want us to call it a little mess!!?? Sorry but Biden/Harris/Pelosi & the dems. have caused one of the worst CRISES EVER! Plus Biden/Harris are in DERELICTION OF DUTY TO PROTECT OUR BOARDERS! Harris doesn’t even know where the boarder in question is she keeps going to other states & they tell her to leave & go to the boarder, & neither one of them has done a dam thing or tried to give any kind of help to straighten this mess out! This administration is absolutely horrible!!

  10. crisis at the boarder. i do not how the democrat want fraise it. changing the word does not change the fact.

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