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How Not to Cover a Bigoted Lie
NYT <3 Nikki Haley
Let’s imagine a candidate for President. Are you imagining a man? That’s sexist, you sick fuck.
Let’s start over. Let’s imagine a candidate for President, in this case a woman. She participates in a Town Hall for GOP voters on CNN. At this Town Hall, she says that global warming is happening because Black people can marry White people now.
Crazy, right? Climate change is definitely happening, but it is, according to all available evidence, unrelated to interracial marriage. That is something a crazy bigoted person would shout on the subway.
Now get a load of this bullshit:
Excuse me, what? Huh? What?!?! HMMM?!??
A third of teenage girls did contemplate suicide in 2021, according to a study released by the CDC this year. That report did not mention “being in the same locker room as a transgender person” as one of the causes, because it is not one of the causes.
I am sure you can guess what caused a rise in suicidal thoughts in teenagers in 2021. Did you guess the pandemic and bullying on social media? Good job. You are apparently more attuned to teenage issues than former Governor of South Carolina.
This is a wild potshot at the trans community. It is not too far removed from saying gay people caused Hurricane Katrina. (Incidentally, the pastor who introduced Nikki Haley at her presidential launch once suggested gay people caused Hurricane Katrina.)
If you are blaming transgender people for teenage suicide, you are lying. You are attempting to win votes by saying, “Look at me: I hate the same minorities that you do, and I am willing to say all sorts of wild shit about them.”
I kind of expected news coverage to reflect this open Queer-bashing. (Happy Pride!) But I opened the New York Times this morning and saw this on the homepage:
Mild! Did you hear, that trans teens? Nikki Haley blamed your very existence for your classmates wanting to kill themselves…but she did it in a soothing voice. It’s like Bigotry ASMR, you get it.
I mean, I guess Nikki Haley was “even-tempered” when she suggested the link between teen suicide and the existence of transgender people. She was wearing a sensible outfit. She looked like a nice person while she was demonizing that minority.
Is there an NYT Style Guide rule I’m not aware of? Is each candidate allowed to blame one national tragedy on a minority before it makes the headline on the homepage? Can Mike Pence pin America’s childhood diabetes crisis on the Japanese and still get called “poised and levelheaded” by the Times?
The article itself is not much better. Read along with me, friend. In paragraph 2, the reporter praises Nikki Haley for being “well versed on policy issues, consistently upbeat and evenly tempered.”
Would a trans teenager being scapegoated for an entire generation’s misery agree that she was “consistently upbeat”? If Nikki Haley blamed New York Times reporters for school shootings, would she still get the “evenly tempered” label?
Probably not, but let’s keep going.
Here, in paragraph 14, is the sole mention of this inflammatory comment aimed at the most vulnerable minority currently in America:
She agreed with barring transgender girls from school sports and even seemed to suggest that allowing “biological boys” in girls’ locker rooms was connected with the high rate of teenage girls who have considered suicide.
At the same time, she acknowledged that “we do need to be humane” about transgender children. In South Carolina schools when she was governor, Ms. Haley said, principals made private bathroom accommodations for them. “They were safe, and the majority of the student body didn’t even have to deal with it,” she said.
Did she “seem to suggest” the connection or did she straight-up say there was a cause and effect?
Also: Is it, in fact, “humane” to call transgender people something that other students “have to deal with”?
Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, it was an off-the-cuff answer, right? Maybe Nikki Haley misspoke. Maybe she was tired and did a whoopsie-bigot.
Except! Here is Nikki Haley giving a pre-written speech in New Hampshire on May 24, two weeks ago. From The Advocate:
“Everybody know about Dylan Mulvaney? Bud Light, right?” she continued, referring to Mulvaney’s recent promotional partnership with the beer brand, which sparked right-wing outrage. “Make no mistake: That is a guy, dressed up like a girl, making fun of women. Women don’t act like that. Yet everybody’s wondering why a third of our teenage girls seriously contemplated suicide last year? What are we doing to them? We’re supposed to be growing strong girls, confident girls, not ones being made fun of.”
Nikki Haley and her campaign strategists sat in a room and came up with a line for her stump speech: Blame transgender people for teenage suicide.
Because she is not shouting and is surely a pleasure on the Georgetown book launch circuit, Nikki Haley is being painted as a sensible opportunity to the shouty excesses of Donald Trump.
Give me a break. She is a bigot wearing Ann Taylor Loft. As President she would make life miserable for trans teenagers and their parents. There is nothing “mild” or “even tempered” about that. Put it on the home page, you cowards.
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