"The Takeaway" Acknowledges the Uncertainty of Gender-Affirming Care
But still spreads misinformation. (Or is it disinformation?)
I’ve been feeling pretty good the last couple of weeks (not my default setting), and I haven’t been able to tell if it’s because of these new pain meds working some magic on the compressed nerves in my back, or if it’s because I just feel such an enormous sense of relief that the media ship is finally turning, if ever so slightly. The New York Times! Reuters! Politico! All reporting in way that shows that gender-affirming care as “proven effective and life-saving” is actually overly simplistic, and that there is no medical consensus.
I haven’t been trying to ban anything or impose my worldview on anyone (well, other than to educate people on why gender diversity is natural). I’ve just wanted the media to report honestly, so that families—and the medical and mental health communities that are promoting this simplistic narrative—could be properly informed. I am trying to help create an environment in which these issues can be debated and discussed.
BROADVIEW is a reader-supported publication. Please consider becoming a paid subscriber.
So I was startled to see how the Left media absorbed the new narrative, and then spun it anew. Jesse Singal already dismantled the continuing distortions of On the Media, an NPR show I listened to religiously for years—and to whose host I have written probably five times, begging her to consider opposition as rooted in science, not right-wing political worldviews. So I’ll skip that one, and instead focus on another nationally-distributed WNYC news program, The Takeaway. (Full disclosure, I was on this show some years ago, although the then-host, John Hockenberry, has long disappeared into the #MeToo wilds).
In yesterday’s episode, the host Melissa Harris-Perry spoke with a gender-affirming doctor from Yale, Meredith McNamara, and Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami in Florida, Alberto Cairo, who is the father of a child with gender dysphoria, They discussed the recent Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine’s decision to delay gender-affirming care until after age 18, which they say was rooted in disinformation. Not misinformation, but disinformation, meaning deliberately falsified. The goal of the segment is to give McNamara a chance to set the record straight, which I guess is why they automatically assume that everyone who supported the ruling was wrong; thus, Harris-Perry didn’t interview them or offer any pushback.
Let’s examine some of their disinformation claims.