AP violates its own style guide

The Associated Press, reporting a story you’ve probably heard:

County Autopsy: Unarmed teen short 6 to 8 times

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A St. Louis County autopsy has found that the unarmed black teenager killed during a confrontation with a white police officer was shot six to eight times.

This, and several other AP stories, give the deliberate impression that Michael Brown was a child, when in fact he was a very large 18-year-old adult. Avoiding this sort of misleading impression is presumably why the Associated Press forbids using the word “teenager” this way:

youth Applicable to boys and girls from age 13 until 18th birthday. Use man or woman for individuals 18 and older.

Why would the AP break its own rules? Indeed, why would they break their own rules to mislead the public on a point that, legally at least, doesn’t even matter? (After all, killing an adult, if unjustified, is just as bad — legally speaking — as killing a child.)

There seems to be only one conclusion. Their purpose here is not to report the facts; their purpose is to create outrage. The killing of a child is more outrageous, so that’s what they reported, even though it’s not what happened.

(Via Hot Air.)

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