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'Does not fit the dictionary definition'
Politico has become the latest news agency to order its staff not to use the word "crisis" when describing the ongoing surge of illegal immigrants flooding into the country in anticipation of lenient treatment under the Biden administration.
In an internal memo obtained Thursday by the Washington Examiner, staff at the beltway publication were instructed to avoid using the term since the present situation doesn't fit the "dictionary definition of a crisis." It is, however, a "problem" and a "dire situation," staff were told.
The Associated Press broke ground last month when it instructed reporters to avoid the terminology in an effort to use "accurate and neutral language" when describing the situation. However, the AP had no problem using the word to refer to the immigration surge in 2019 when Donald Trump was president.
Politico's mandate comes with its own stink of hypocrisy, as President Joe Biden himself let the truth slip last Saturday, referring to the border surge as a "crisis" when talking to reporters after a round of golf. Nonetheless, such characterization is deemed unacceptable for Politico reporters.
"Avoid referring to the present situation as a crisis, although we may quote others using that language while providing context. 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," deputy production director Maya Parthasarathy reportedly wrote in the memo.
"If using the word 'crisis,' we need to ask of what and to whom," she added.
Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines a crisis as "an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending." Cambridge English Dictionary describes a crisis as "a time of great disagreement, confusion or suffering."
The Biden administration has insisted for months that the surge of immigrants at the border — which has resulted in thousands of migrant children being held in grim, cage-like facilities and tens of thousands of adult illegal immigrants being released directly into the country — does not constitute a crisis. Yet at the same time, officials have been scrambling behind the scenes to hide it from the public and have been taking drastic action to make the problem go away.
After Biden regrettably used that word which shall never be used, the White House quickly went into damage control and clarified to CNN that the label is not reflective of the "administration's official position."
The clarification proved to be marching orders for Politico.
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