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
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.
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.")
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.