(LifeSiteNews) — As I noted in this space twice over the past few months, the New York Times has published several reports recently that directly contradict the narrative of the transgender movement. In January, they published a report titled “When Students Change Gender Identity, and Parents Don’t Know,” detailing the increasingly common practice of schools withholding information about children from parents. In November, they published a story titled “They Paused Puberty, but Is There a Cost?” which detailed increasing concerns about the irreversible damage done by puberty blockers. In both stories, it must be noted, the Times affirmed gender ideology in its use of pronouns and consistent provisos.
But to the transgender movement, these signs of dissent are an indication that they may be losing control of the narrative. The questions posed by The New York Times are not allowed to be asked; the people interviewed by the Times are not allowed to be heard. Thus, the transgender movement is hitting back hard in an attempt to push the Times back in line and reassert control over the narrative. The Human Rights Campaign, one of the most powerful LGBT lobby groups in America, released a letter calling on the New York Times to “improve their coverage of transgender people and issues” due to “more than a year of irresponsible, biased news and opinion pieces about the transgender community” and noting that a “number of these pieces have been cited by politicians banning and criminalizing health care for transgender youth.”
Signatories to the HRC’s letter include PFLAG, Transgender Law Center, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Women’s March, Judd Apatow, Margaret Cho, Wilson Cruz, Tommy Dorfman, Lena Dunham, Jameela Jamil, Ashlee Marie Preston, Shakina, Amy Schneider, Gabrielle Union-Wade, and Jonathan Van Ness, among others. In addition to this, the coordinated backlash also came with another letter to the Times published by 180 of the newspaper’s contributors “calling out the outlet’s biased transgender coverage,” including Ashley P. Ford, Roxane Gay, Carmen Maria Machado Thomas Page McBee, Andrea Long Chu, Carmen Maria Machado, John Cameron Mitchell, Zach Stafford, Raquel Willis, and others.
According to Kelley Robinson, the president of the Human Rights Campaign:
Everyday, a barrage of hate targeted at transgender people online is fueling real world violence. Adding fuel to that fire is biased coverage that harms the transgender community in mainstream publications – notably, the New York Times. The Times continues to give a platform to anti-LGBTQ+ extremists, while ‘just asking questions’ about best practice, medically necessary healthcare for transgender kids that is already supported by every credible medical association, representing over 1.3 million doctors. Recent stories are being used by dangerous people who are looking for any reason to attack the transgender community – from lawmakers who cite New York Times stories as reasons for introducing anti-transgender measures to extremists who are issuing bomb threats at children’s hospitals and harassing doctors, their patients and their parents, who are only trying to care for their kids as best they can. We are demanding immediate action—stop giving a megaphone to people who want to erase transgender people. Uplift and empower transgender voices, it’s that simple.
The tactic being used here is tried and true—Robinson is insinuating that merely by reporting on the very real concerns with so-called transgender “treatments”—concerns affirmed in Finland, Sweden, the UK, and elsewhere—the Times is guilty of “real world violence” and has become a tool in the hands of bigots and conservative lawmakers. Thus, the HRC “demands immediate action” and orders the Times to stop speaking with anyone who disagrees with them and instead “uplift and empower transgender voices.” Sarah Kate Ellis of GLAAD, another legacy LGBT organization, concurred, stating that:
From the front page to the opinion page, readers are too often getting an inaccurate view of transgender people, with poor reporting that elevates harmful opinions from known anti-trans voices and so-called ‘concerns’ over the fact that every leading medical organization affirms healthcare for trans youth as safe and necessary. And even more dangerous, politicians are using biased Times’ articles to justify support for anti-trans legislation. GLAAD and other advocates have tried to educate reporters and editors at the Times, but our community can no longer wait for the Times to do the right thing. We need to see action now: Start by listening, hiring, and reporting accurately and inclusively on trans people. Anything less than an intentional and meaningful effort to reach out to and listen to transgender experts is unconscionable and a violation of the public trust.
The trans movement is used to being able to “educate” journalists and to direct their coverage—clearly, the Times now sees concerns with the transgender agenda that are simply too big to ignore, and that it is more dangerous for them to heed the demands of the HRC and GLAAD to self-censor. Indeed, the signatories to the letter spearheaded by the HRC made three aggressive demands to the Times and called for immediate action:
Stop printing biased anti-trans stories, immediately.
Listen to trans people: hold a meeting with trans community leaders within two months.
Hire at least four trans writers and editors within three months.
Anyone familiar with how the trans movement operates should not be shocked by this level of hubris and entitlement—it is how they have effectively captured so many other institutions, as well. But it seems that, this time around, the Times isn’t going to bend the knee—the very day after HRC’s demands, they published an op-ed by Pamela Paul titled “In Defense of J.K. Rowling,” and a memo was sent out to NYT staff defending their coverage as “important, deeply reported, and sensitively written” and noting that the journalists who had written the stories “have endured months of attacks, harassment, and threats.” The memo also made clear that the Times leadership “will not tolerate, participation by Times journalists in protests organized by advocacy groups or attacks on colleagues on social media and other public forums.” The memo is a scathing rebuke to the HRC’s attempt at bullying.
Enraged and more than a little shocked at their apparent loss of clout, the HRC released another missive, with Kelley Robinson writing that “just one day later, yet another transphobic column by one of their most consistently anti-transgender opinion writers is published to defend one of the most famous transphobic writers in the world. The circumstances are so outlandish that I almost can’t believe it.” Indeed, she’s probably telling the truth—these people have grown used to being obeyed. Now that the Times is ignoring their demands, they will start to get desperate. Their accusations will escalate. But their grip on the narrative is loosening.