After Running Out of Transphobic Slurs to Call Chelsea Manning, Fox News Gets Creative

After Running Out of Transphobic Slurs to Call Chelsea Manning, Fox News Gets Creative

Fox News: They may not always get their facts straight, but they certainly know how to get creative with their transphobia.

This week, the Fox News "Star Trek" News Deck may have sunk to a new network low following a Fox & Friends segment which labeled Chelsea Manning a "gender bender." Has someone been reading their Urban Dictionary?


The Fox morning show, whose factual errors have been parodied by SNL, has a proven track record of refusing to respect Manning's transition, repeatedly using transphobic slurs and other transphobic innuendo in reference to the former Army intelligence analyst who legally changed her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning on Tuesday.

In August, the morning show chose to introduce a segment on Manning's wish to change her name by playing Aerosmith's "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)." Media Matters has documented multiple examples of Fox hosts variously referring to Manning as "him" and "he," while as recent as last month, Fox's Andrea Tantaros referred to Manning as "Bradleen."


The Advocate reports that America's Newsroom host Gregg Jarrett added insult to injury with a bizarre defense of his misgendering of Manning, claiming "I don't do what Bradley Manning wants me to do ... Don't send me angry emails that I referred to him [sic] as 'Bradley' and not 'Chelsea' and "him" instead of 'her.'"

The Fox News strategy, as with any media organization, is apparent: to control the narrative. Far too commonplace to be accidental at this point, what one has to assume is the deliberate and malicious misgendering of Manning looks more and more like a not-so-subtle attempt to dismiss trans identity through disavowal. 

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Marcie Bianco

Dr. Marcie Bianco is a Staff Writer at Mic, a Contributing Editor at Curve Magazine, and an adjunct associate professor at Hunter College. She has contributed to AfterEllen, Feministing, The Feminist Wire, The Huffington Post, Lambda Literary, XO Jane, and The Women’s Review of Books. She writes and lectures about ethics, from feminism to race relations. Her current writing projects include a manuscript about lesbian academic affairs and a collection of feminist essays.

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