Monday, May 09, 2022

Fox News, hate group working together to create false transgender controversy in school

On Monday, hate group the Family Research Council sent out this tweet advertising a segment on its podcast:

If one would believe FRC's spin, it's the latest example of public schools supposedly trying to 'groom kids' into being LGBTQ - especially 'T as in transgender' behind the backs of parents.

In the reality, it's the latest example of conservatives and right-wing groups manufacturing controversies in order to demonize public schools, teachers, and their reliable punching bags - LGBTQ people.

From what I was able to garner (at least for now), here are three facts about this incident:

1. There is no gender transition happening. It was simply a letter about what the child prefers to be called. 

2. The entire 'controversy' is comprised of a VERY biased Fox News article which doesn't even quote anyone except an activist from a far right 'parental rights' group. A second Fox News article is claiming that the school is facing a backlash, but provides no proof of this. No quotes from angry parents, concerned parents, or any parents. It is mainly an interview with the same activist from the far right 'parental rights group' who was quoted in the original article.

3. The idea that anything was hidden from parents is highly specious. We see this in three points.

A. Via the FRC interview itself:

At the beginning, the interviewer, FRC spokesman Joseph Backholm, hints that there was an attempted working relationship with the school and the parents regarding the child in question.

B. Backholm is interviewing Meg Kilgannon, another FRC spokesperson. While they both repeat unproven claims about how this is happening across the nation, Kilgannon seems to be very unsure about the particulars in this case. At one point, she claims that she "suspects" that the parents were getting stonewalled.

C. The original article which formed the basis  of this podcast (coming from Fox News - and we know how biased they are when it comes to transgender issues) says nothing about parents. Even though Backholm claimed that 'reportedly' (his word) the school was acting without parental consent and thereby caused concern, there is nothing in the article which states this.

What this sounds like is yet another attempt to push the lie that schools are pushing being LGBTQ on children, much like the lie used by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to justify his 'Don't Say Gay' bill which was recently passed into law.

Ironically, one of the reasons that the Florida bill passed was because of another false story about a school attempting to turn a child transgender behind his parent's back.

This is how the religious right and their allies in the conservative propaganda news industry work. Fox News publishes story which makes an allegation without backing it up. Then the Family Research Council  amplifies it. Since no one is paying attention, no one refutes it. So then it's believed and continues to be amplified.

By the time it has been refuted, it has done its damage. And then we start all over again with a new fake controversy.