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Sunday, August 21, 2022
MRC Is Still Cheering J.K. Rowling's Transphobia
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center stopped hating author J.K. Rowling for promoting witchcraft in her "Harry Potter" novels (and for admitting that Dumbledore is gay) when she started spouting anti-transgender ideology, and its love of Rowling's hate has continued this year. When the New York Times called Rowling a "TERF," Clay Waters decided this was a "slur" and rushed to her defense in a Feb. 24 post:

Author J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of fantasy novels, has been the subject of “cancellation” and even violent threats for standing up for the biological reality of women against the radical trans ideology, in which a biological man is free to self-identify as a woman and invade women’s spaces.


But the story’s bigger journalistic crime was an editorial detail. The original URL link at the top of the story ... actually contained the slur “terf,” a derogatory acronym employed by trans activists to smear their feminist opponents. It stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminists” and has no place in mainstream journalism. The URL also included the insult “transphobic.”

Clearly someone had second thoughts about the slur against Rowling; the link now resolves into a more conventional URL. (The term “terf” had previously appeared in The Times only in trans-activist opinion pieces.)

Matt Philbin, meanwhile, undermined Waters' outrage by embracing Rowling as a TERF in a March 9 post:

J.K. Rowling is well on her way to becoming “She Who Must Not Be Named.” It doesn’t seem to bother her. The world’s most famous (or infamous) TERF (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist) still maintains that biology has meaning and dudes who claim to be chicks aren’t actually chicks. For this, she regularly faces the Twitter mob.

On March 8, Rowling saw a puffy tweet from the U.K. Labour Party that claimed “Labour will lift women up, not hold them back. Because we are the party of equality.” Rowling wasn’t having it, and she replied, “This morning you told the British public you literally can't define what a woman is. What's the plan, lift up random objects until you find one that rattles?”

Hmm, kinda makes sense. If you’re being pandered to, don’t you want the people doing the pandering to be able to tell you from a toaster or a butternut squash?  As usual, the Twitter reaction was swift and stupid. One unfortunate tweeter caught Rowling’s eye for asking, “You really want your legacy to die on this hill, @jk_rowling ?”

That sounds awfully like being “on the wrong side of history” progressives are always threatening to place dissidents on. It’s also another way of asking if she really wants to be canceled by all the virtuous people.

Autumn Johnson spent an April 3 post complaining about "a “diss track” against Rowling" and griping that "Twitter’s Terms of Service specifically ban content that threaten violence. When the tweet was reported, however, Twitter refused to take action." Johnson made sure to note that Rowling "had been criticized for her comments on transgenders in the past," though she offered no link between that and the alleged death threat.

Waters ran to Rowling's defense once more in a July 5 post complaining that the Times called out her transphobia:

For the crime of believing in human biology and that women are women, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has been excoriated by the left and their media allies.

Now it’s Politico’s turn. Journalist Sarah Wheaton’s 5,000-word cover story for the European edition of Politico, “The metamorphosis of J.K. Rowling – When it comes to trans rights, some fans believe the Harry Potter author is more Death Eater than Dumbledore.”

In other words, Rowling is a real-world villain. Why not just call her Voldemort?  Spoiler alert: They were saving that clever slam for later.

Wheaton, a chief policy correspondent for Politico Europe, tried feverishly to blacken Rowling’s reputation.


Rowling, who has received many death threats, is accused in classic liberal fashion of “punching down.” Rowling is even quoted saying she’s received “so many death threats I could paper my house with them.” But Wheaton followed through on only one example and actually sympathized with the Twitter user who issued the threat.

The Times is not "blackening" someone's reputation simply by reporting what that person has done to besmirch it through their own words and behavior. Still, Waters also groused that "The article concluded with an astonishing explainer from 'trans woman' cover artist Cat Graffam, bragging about how she made Rowling’s photo look threatening." 

John Simmons followed up on the MRC's earlier mockery of "Harry Potter" fans who play a version of the books' sport of quidditch and decided to change  the sport's name to protest Rowling's transphobia with a July 20 post on that actually happening:

We all know that J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series, one of the most widely acclaimed and beloved fantasy worlds ever created. But because Rowling actually has some solid beliefs on what makes a woman a woman, her legacy has been tarnished and tampered.

The latest consequence for her beliefs is that Quidditch, the sport Rowling invented for the Harry Potter series and that is played in over 40 leagues worldwide, will now be named “quadball.”


Naturally, the outrage mob attacked her and her reputation for being transphobic, but Rowling has since doubled down on her take, hence the name change of the sport.

It seems as though all the progressives involved are getting way to riled up about this. But then again, what more could you expect from that side?

And what more could you expect from the MRC, which went from hating Rowling to loving her solely because she hates transgender people as much as they do?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 PM EDT

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