The Corner


Today in Propaganda: Gender Alteration Described as ‘Gender-Affirming’

As Alexandra DeSanctis notes, it is disappointing that Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson “vetoed a bill that would ban doctors from performing gender transition surgery or offering puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones to minors.” The law prohibits minors from making all sorts of decisions that adults may make, most of them far less irrevocable than genital mutilation. Arkansas is just trying to protect kids from decisions that they may regret later, which carry exceptionally high risks of suicide, depression, and other pathologies.

Predictably, mainstream media outlets are stumbling over themselves to frame the bill in overtly propagandistic terms. Devin Cole of CNN describes it as “an anti-transgender health care bill.” Samantha Schmidt of the Washington Post, in language also deployed by CNN, called it “gender-affirming medical care,” as if it is not surgery irrevocably altering a child’s gender. Their editors and the writers of headlines and official tweets used this same language.

We see this in many areas today. The cultural Left deploys question-begging framing language that makes intelligent discussion of the actual issues impossible. True, the Right has its own efforts to do that sort of thing — but no framing developed by left-wing activists is too left-wing to be adopted wholesale by “news” organizations that pass themselves off as honest arbiters of reality. Nobody has ever gone broke by overestimating the bad faith of mainstream journalistic outlets.


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