The Associated Press (AP) is facing backlash after the far-left outlet chose to celebrate Independence Day by publishing an article claiming that the word “patriot” is problematic.
On Tuesday, the AP published an article arguing that the word “patriot” has become overtly political and has been “appropriated” by so-called extremist groups.
“The term ‘patriot’ in America has become infused in political rhetoric and school curriculums, with varying meanings, while also being appropriated by white nationalist groups,” the outlet wrote in a tweet, sharing a link to the full article.
In their article, the AP cited data from the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) — a nonprofit organization dedicated to smearing conservatives, even going so far as to include mainstream conservative groups on its so-called “hate map” alongside neo-Nazis. The organization has faced intense criticism over their smear attempts and the participation of one of their members in a terror attack.
TUCKER: The SPLC is a domestic terrorist group pic.twitter.com/9BPBa9sXjQ
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) March 7, 2023
“Today, the word and its variants have morphed beyond the original meaning. It has become infused in political rhetoric and school curriculums, with varying definitions, while being appropriated by white nationalist groups. Trying to define what a patriot is depends on who is being asked,” the AP argued in their article, using data from the SPLC to support the false claim that radical right-wing extremists had coopted the word.
The article went on to quote Louisiana State University historian Gaines Foster, who cited the January 6 Capitol protests as evidence of the supposed appropriation of the word “patriot” by extremist groups — whom she claims are trying to focus on a more revolutionary meaning of the word.
“People began to lean less toward a commitment to democracy and more to the notion in the Declaration of Independence that there is a ‘right of revolt,’ and that becomes patriotism,” Foster said, according to the outlet.
The term ‘patriot’ in America has become infused in political rhetoric and school curriculums, with varying meanings, while also being appropriated by white nationalist groups. https://t.co/UO2stwBz51
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 4, 2023
Critics blasted the AP on social media, condemning them for using the important holiday to smear their political opponents.
“Just can’t help themselves,” tweeted Chad Felix Greene.
Just can't help themselves… https://t.co/WMNjebQkxg
— Chad Felix Greene (@chadfelixg) July 4, 2023
“AP can’t even take a break from dividing Americans on Independence Day. Pathetic,” another Twitter user wrote.
AP can’t even take a break from dividing Americans on Independence Day.
— Shawn Quinn (@ShawnQuinn83) July 4, 2023
“AP desperately tries to malign the word ‘patriot’ on #4thofJuly. Only thing it does is remind us how much they hate the U.S. #Patriots,” tweeted Andy Martin.
— Andy Martin (@Dollarlogic) July 4, 2023
The AP has faced criticism for several articles in recent months, including one in which the outlet tried to discourage using the word “the” in certain circumstances — using the phrase “the French” as one example of supposed bigotry.
In a since-deleted tweet, the APStylebook Twitter account recommended writers stop using the word “the” in phrases such as “the disabled, the poor, and the French,” claiming that the phrasing could be dehumanizing.