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Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Transgender Lawmaker's Rhetoric Gives MRC The (Hypocritical) Vapors
Topic: Media Research Center

When Montana state Rep. Zooey Zephyr, who is transgender, gave a passionate speech in which she warned her fellow lawmakers they would have "blood on your hands" if they approved an anti-transgender law -- which got her barred from the legislative floor for the rest of the session while that law passed -- the Media Research Center got the vapors over the remark (as if its haven't attacked its enemies with greater vitriol; see George Soros). Tim Graham spent an April 21 post complaining that people who aren't transphobes weren't scandalized by Zephyr's rhetoric:

This could be a poll question: Which speech is more offensive? 

--"Misgendering" a trans woman as a "he"? 

--Telling someone who opposes trans amputations and chemicals they have "blood on their hands"?

The Washington Post picked (A). Their headline was "Montana Republicans misgender trans lawmaker in letter calling for civility." Reporter Maria Luisa Paul explained state Rep. "Zooey Zephyr" claimed Republicans were shameful for making gender-dysphoric kids go through puberty without chemicals:


So telling people they have blood on their hands for failing to support amputations sounds like it needs a fact check as well as a civility check. Who's eroding norms here as they nuke the gender binary? 

Graham won't tell you that accusing others of having blood on their hands is not uncommon in political rhetoric -- even on the website he manages. Last June, for example, John Simmons said that doctors who perform abortions have "blood on their hands, and in December, Tierin-Rose Mandelburg declared that those who support abortion rights "are stained with the blood of the 63 million + babies who have been killed as a result of Roe." And in January 2022, as we've documented, the MRC praised singer John Ondrasik for writing a song called "Blood On My Hands," which attacked the Biden administration over the messy U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Graham was also being hypocritical about inflammatory language, bashing Zephyr's rhetoric while maliciously portraying being transgender as all aboaut "chemicals" and "amputations."And his outrage over Zephyr's remarks is doubly hypocritical given his own history of inflammatory rhetoric, most notoriously trying to slut-shame Monica Lewinsky.

The next MRC writer to get the performative vapors over Zephyr's rhetoric was Curtis Houck, who ranted in an April 26 post:

Wednesday’s broadcast networks brought the first batch of broadcast network stories trashing the push to protect women and girls from biological men and children from medical castration by the Montana state legislature and cheering the latest leftist hooliganism. 

Worse yet, they cheered transgender Representative Zooey Zephyr (D) — a man pretending to a woman — threatening anyone who supports such legislation means they wholly support murder and suicides of transgender people since they’ll have “blood on [their] hands.”

So much for civility. It’s hard to have a country and civic society when the left and their media allies accuse tens of millions of eagerly supporting mass killings and suicides. Remember that the next time the press insists they’re for all Americans.

As if nastily smearing Zephyr as "a man pretending to a woman" is not designed to be inflammatory.

Clay Waters was next up to whine in an April 29 post:

The tax-funded PBS NewsHour on Wednesday night was the latest outlet to leap upon the cause of Montana legislator and transgender Democrat Zooey Zephyr, barred from the House chamber for violating rules of decorum during a debate on a bill that would ban so-called “gender-affirming care” for gender-dysmorphic minors wishing to surgically or chemically “transition.”

The vote came after a nasty speech by Zephyr, a biological male, accusing colleagues who oppose such care: “If you vote yes on this bill, I hope the next time there’s an invocation, when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands.” Zephyr also claimed failing to provide such care was “tantamount to torture.” But those inflammatory quotes, delivered on the Montana House floor, didn’t make PBS’s hagiography.

Nawaz hosted Zephyr (who for a legislator representing 11,000 constituents certainly gets their share of publicity) and the resulting conversation was more therapy session than journalism: "You know, when you spoke in your defense before the vote today, you said that you felt you were being asked to be -- quote -- 'complicit in the eradication of your community.' What did you mean by that?"

Yes, Waters' complaint that Zephyr got too much publlicity while giving her publicity came without a hint of irony.

Graham name-checked Zephyr in his May 5 podcast devoted to complaining that "While the national liberal networks tout Democrats fighting the GOP in red state legislatures, radical left-wing bills in blue states are going ignored." He similaly whined in his May 10 column: "Just as allegedly prestigious outlets like NPR have championed transgender legislator Zooey Zephyr in Montana and the Bullhorn Justins in Tennessee, the only point of view worth exploring and defending in state politics right now is on the radical left. "

Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT

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