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Tim Graham's Transgender Freakout Syndrome

The Media Research Center official just can't deal with the fact that transgenders appear in the media from time to time.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 10/7/2014

Tim Graham

Tim Graham is the Media Research Center's director of media analysis. And, as befits an official at an organization with a consistently anti-gay agenda, he's also the MRC's leader in freaking out over the fact that transgenders 1) exist, and 2) appear in the media from time to time.

The MRC is no stranger to transgender freakouts -- it has already blown a gasket over Chaz Bono appearing on "Dancing With the Stars" and declared that a picture of a J. Crew designer painting her young son's toenails pink was nothing less than "blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children" -- but Graham's obsession with transgenders takes it to a new level.

Not only are his freakouts a regular feature on the MRC's NewsBusters blog, he has inserted them into the syndicated column he writes with his boss, Brent Bozell.

In May 2012, Graham devoted a NewsBusters post to screeching about a Washington Post article on a 5-year-old who was born a girl but insists on living as a boy, taking particular offense that the story ran on a certain day of the week:

Somehow, The Washington Post always picks Sundays for articles on how God makes mistakes. Screaming at the top of Sunday’s paper was a picture of a little girl getting her head buzzed with the headline “TRANSGENDER AT FIVE,” and “She first declared she was a boy when she was 2 years old. Her parents brushed it off by slowly concluded this wasn’t just a phase." This wasn't news. It was propaganda, and if you don't like it, they dare you to cancel your subscription.

The article, by liberal Post columnist (and former reporter) Petula Dvorak, naturally referred to how everyone has grown to know “transgenders” from Chaz Bono on “Dancing with the Stars.” It also repeatedly rejected scientific fact in referring to this troubled girl in male terms like “he” and “his” – including the “instructional” video the Post put online.

Graham was further upset that being transgender is moving away from being a "disorder" and that "therapists are now organizing to remove the term 'disorder' and replace it with 'gender incongruence.'" After huffing that "This is really a very long editorial badly disguised as a news story," Graham concludes: "The Washington Post can't allow this subject to be a debate. It has to be all told from the standpoint of 'protective' parents who insist the whole society has to adopt this 'disorder' as their own."

What business is it of Graham's how this child expresses a gender or how the child's parents learn to deal with it? Graham is utterly lacking in compassion for this situation of this family, and he's appalled that anyone else would have some.

That's just pure hate -- and that's the general tone of all of his transgender freakouts.

Graham did it again in an August 2013 post, complaining that People magazine "aggressively used female pronouns" in an article about Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, while sneeringly calling Manning a "traitor-ettte."

(Colleague Katie Yoder echoed Graham's sneering tone a few days later in an MRC Culture & Media Institute item: "Trans characters will be turning up in your favorite sit-coms, and ribbons will appear on awards shows. Look forward to a parade of “Princess Boys,” Chelsea Mannings and Miss/Mr Universes, all with a poignant story and all scrambling to sort out their restroom accommodations.")

2014 freakouts

For whatever reason, Graham's transgender freakouts increased exponentially in 2014. In a Feb. 14 NewsBusters post, he attacked a Washington Post writer for not identifying a transgender woman as the male she was born as, ranting that "transgender advocacy in the press demands a complete denial of biological reality":

The Washington Post is glorifying the man who calls himself “Janet Mock” on the front of the Friday Style section, but it’s a bit puzzling. They noted the recent kerfuffle over Piers Morgan’s CNN show describing Mock as “a boy until 18" as “a ticking time bomb that later exploded on Twitter.”

But wait, Post reporter Dan Zak first wrote, “She had three goals when she was growing up as Charles Mock in Honolulu.” So she grew up as a girl named Charles, apparently. Zak celebrated this “trans woman.” Dan Zak – the smug snarkster who trashed Paul Ryan as a little boy – is now sincerely scolding the “wider world” as “always way behind on trans issues,” as if he were the most sensitive, clued-in reporter on the planet[.]

Graham went on to respond to Mock's statement that she wants to "liberate the girls" by saying, "Except...they're boys with gender dysphoria." Graham concludes by engaging in his own smug snarkiness:

Mock is the center of attention because the politically correct Post and suddenly sensitive Zak decided to put him there. Him? That’s not “gender bigotry.” That’s reality. The press doesn’t like reality or science on this issue. It’s all a gauzy tale of flattery that could be called “The Empress Wore Shiny Pointed Black Heels.”

In July, Graham unleashed a barrage of transgender freakouts. In a July 18 post, he fretted that a “trans woman” who "worked for the John Kerry for President campaign in Florida in 2004" was running a a Republican to become Nevada's "first gender-confused state legislator."

The same day, Graham also huffed that "National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm Show devoted a unanimous hour on Monday to the transgender 'struggle for civil rights.'" He further huffed: "See how the media agenda and the transgender agenda are exactly the same: build maximum 'visibility' toward a 'tipping point,' and exclude any and all opponents unless they neatly fit a convenient narrative of hate and bullying." And that's different from how right-wingers create Obama "scandals" ... how?

On July 23, he targeted NPR once again, grousing that "NPR’s nationally distributed Fresh Air talk show devoted 43 minutes to 'the growing number of people who identify as transgender.'" He added, "Naturally, religion and the idea of nature and natural law only came up as something triumphantly overcome."

Graham was in freakout mode yet again in a July 27 post railing at the New York Times for treating transgenders as if they had basic human rights:

In the same Friday New York Times in which “conservative firebrand” Dinesh D’Souza was dissected and a “conservative script” was honed to “light fire on abortion,” the social leftists pushing transgender issues were never identified as liberal or leftist. This time, the venue for gender delusion was a Quaker college in Oregon.

Forget the science. The dictatorship of relativism is bearing down. A person's gender is utterly dependent on what they feel like being. A caption on Friday explained: “Jaycen, a George Fox University student who identifies as male, wants to live next year with a group of male friends; however, the college considers him a woman and turned down his request.”


Now what if someone took this same argument and made it about race? As in: I was "assigned whiteness" at birth, but I feel like I should be black based on my "lived experience" pretending to be what I am not? Jaycen is supposedly more male because she's into "the video game Call to Duty and listening to R&B and hip hop." Could it be discriminatory not to allow people who "identify as black" into black colleges or affirmative action programs, as the "identify as women" advocates push their way into women's colleges?


There's not one sliver of space in this politically correct story for the idea that the "LGBTQ" agenda is completely at odds with Christianity and other major global religions, and that to force this sinful agenda on religious institutions is a breach of religious liberty, which seems to be one of the Obama administration's goals.

What does President Obama have to do with this story? Nothing that we can see, beyond Graham inadvertently exposing the MRC's agenda to be less about "media research" and more about partisan politics, which the MRC's nonprofit tax status theoretically forbids.

Graham kept the freakout going in a Sept. 21 NewsBusters post, once again complaining that an article about non-heterosexuals was published on a Sunday:

The Washington Post has made it clear that Sunday is not the Lord’s Day. It’s the best day for LGBT preaching. In 2012, they splashed across the front page “TRANSGENDER AT FIVE.” In this Sunday edition, it’s an 18-year-old girl: “WHEN NO GENDER FITS.”

As usual, “the world” is having trouble sympathetically understanding girls who don’t want to be their “assigned” gender. Over a large color photograph of the girl in question tying her own necktie are the words “The world insists, in a host of way, that Kelsey Beckham choose: Male or female? But what feels most right to Kelsey is neither.”

The Post goes all out when it has lessons to teach: splashed across the front page, and then two whole pages inside, with eight color pictures taking up everything above the fold, with the words inside (in caps): “A QUEST TO BE JUST A PERSON.”

There is no space -- none -- for any dissent from the LGBT hard line.
First: Who said it was forbidden to talk about things that didn't relate to heterosexuality on "the Lord's Day"? Just Graham, apparently.

Second: there is no transgendering going on per se. The story about a biological teen girl who doesn't see herself as either gender. Sexuality is not even discussed in the Post article.

Third: It says something about Graham's hatred for non-heterosexuals that he sees someone who's on "a quest to be just a person" to be a "hard line" view. Apparently, he believes any article on a gay or transgender person should be "balanced" by someone like Scott Lively or the Westboro Baptist Church explaining how that person is a deviant and going to hell.

Again: We can't talk about non-heterosexuals on Sunday? Really, Tim?

Graham went off again in an Oct. 4 post, bashing the Post once more for an article on a transgender teen, sneering that the Post issued "a correction (or I would call it an ideological 'incorrection')" for not referring to the teen by her preferred pronoun. Graham doesn't explain why it's "incorrect" to refer to someone however they want.

Graham-Bozell column freakouts

Graham is so obsessed with transgenders that he has let his freakouts infect the syndicated column he writes with Bozell. (The fact that Graham has been effectively ghostwriting the column for Bozell for years was exposed earlier this year, prompting the addition of Graham's byline.)

Bozell and Graham started their April 30 column by writing:

The times they are a-changing in ways even Bob Dylan didn't foresee.

I have an early childhood memory riding my bike and coming across a discarded booklet on proper social etiquette. It had the perfunctory rules. Gentlemen always open doors for ladies. Stand when a lady comes in the room. And so on. But the one I remember vividly is this: A lady always extends her hand first in greeting. Why? Fifty years ago I could understand the concept, but even then, I thought it was a bit much. Today that rule's been abandoned.

Whose "early childhood memory" is this? Perhaps it's Graham's since he's been shown to be the actual writer and Bozell just the figurehead. But this is the kind of problem you have when you have a singular memory described in a column with two bylines.

Conflicts in literary perspective aside, Bozell and Graham go on to mock the idea of the Washington Post hiring a columnist to address issues of gay etiquette:

"Steven Petrow will be joining our advice ranks," declares the Post, "with a special emphasis on LGBT and straight etiquette issues." Petrow, states his bio, is "the go-to source for modern manners ... known as Mr. Manners." Why was he chosen for the job? He will tell you it's largely because he's the former president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.

His column is called "Civilities" (get it, homophobes?), and Mr. Manners will tackle many thorny etiquette issues as well. In his introductory piece, he outlines some of the issues he's dealt with in the past.

He muses about the gay cop who wrote in to say he was subjected to homophobic jokes, feeling it was his colleagues' way of convincing him to resign. Or the gay widower upset that his in-laws omitted him from his husband's obituary. Or the most vexing question of them all: How to introduce a married same-sex couple? (Answer: They "should be referred to as you would any legal spouse, and that's 'husband' and 'wife.'")

Questions, questions. "Do parents pay for their gay son or lesbian daughter's wedding?" "Is a dad expected to walk his son down the aisle?" "What pronoun (and restroom) is appropriate for a person who is transgender?" "How do you respond to 'assimilated' gays who find 'flamboyant' ones embarrassing?"

How do you respond to an entire industry you find embarrassing?

Bozell and Graham just demonstrated how they respond to something they finds embarrassing -- with sneering and derision.

In their Oct. 3 column, Graham and Bozell attack a new Web-based show about a transgender woman for existing:

Let's put aside the notion of art — whether the acting or screenwriting is effective — and dwell on reality. Art really doesn't matter. Getting the cultural politics right are the alpha and the omega here. It's about paying homage to the ongoing LGBT cultural revolution. It's a show that had to be made in a way to thrill the professional Transgender Lobby, or Big Trans. It needed the imprimatur of gender-denying political correctness, and it got it.

This, ironically, is from the same organization that attacks any conservative for deviating in the slightest from conservative cultural politics.

The authors go on to huff: "Hollywood loves to paint itself as rebellious, but more and more, it succumbs to a rigid orthodoxy. It's gone from enforcing the Hays Code to enforcing the Gays Code."

Spoken like someone who himself is clinging to a rigid orthodoxy, if only because hatred of transgenders keeps the donations rolling into the MRC.

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