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March 29, 2023

The Media’s Disgraceful Nashville Coverage

Many outlets seemed to be more concerned with “correct” pronouns for the killer than reporting facts or being compassionate.

In the moments immediately following a mass shooting, media reports are understandably sometimes inaccurate. Details about the gun(s), the killer, and the death toll can be in flux as authorities sort out the facts. The hate crime in Nashville added another wildcard: the “gender identity” of the murderer.

Biological men and women have particular definitions. Yet leftists have worked zealously in recent years to destroy the distinctions between the sexes, preferring to use the malleable word “gender” to describe how a person “identifies.” Because the Nashville killer was gender confused, confusion abounded on Monday.

Early in the day, Nashville Police Chief John Drake described the perpetrator as “a 28-year-old female” who “does identify as transgender.” When asked for clarification, he responded, “trans woman.” Drake meant a woman who identifies as trans, but according to the Left’s dictionary, that means a biological male identifying as a woman.

A woman just murdered six Christian people, including three children. Their names were Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all age nine, as well as Mike Hill, Cynthia Peak, and school head Katherine Koonce. The adults were all over 60.

Yet the media spent much of Monday tripping over themselves to “clarify” reports about the killer’s preferred pronouns.

The New York Times, for example, posted on social media a link to its news story with the comment, “Female assailants in mass shootings in the U.S. — like the one that occurred on Monday in Nashville — are extremely rare….” The paper of record later backtracked, saying: “There was confusion later on Monday about the gender identity of the assailant in the Nashville shooting. Officials had used ‘she’ and ‘her’ to refer to the suspect, who, according to a social media post and a LinkedIn profile, appeared to identify as a man in recent months.”

USA Today likewise issued a “correction” about identifying the shooter as a woman: “Police on Monday afternoon said that the shooter was a transgender man. Officials had initially misidentified the gender of the shooter.”

Other media outlets removed female pronouns and some strained to avoid pronouns altogether. Fox News, which usually follows the Leftmedia’s lead and uses the preferred pronouns of individuals, was an exception this time. Its website continues to use the words “female,” “she,” etc. We wonder if this marks a lasting change.

NBC News laid out the Left’s definitions: “Trans men are assigned female at birth and identify as men, while trans women are assigned male at birth and identify as women.” (Assigned by whom?)

Confusion was, unfortunately, the least of the Leftmedia’s sins.

Far more mendacious but also not at all surprising were the immediate and predicted efforts by the media and their fellow travelers to cast the killer and her community as the real victims here rather than the Christians she targeted.

The Trans Resistance Network demanded that news organizations “respect the self-identified pronouns of transgender individuals who come across your desk.” The group also expressed “deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers” for the families of victims before proceeding to explain that the murderer “had no other effective way to be seen than to lash out by taking the life of others.”

Some reporters took a similar tack. A freelance NBC reporter noted in a since-deleted tweet that “Nashville is home to the Daily Wire, a hub of anti-trans activity” by some of its prominent personalities. A Washington Post contributor said “I don’t condone” the murders, “though I understand their outrage against an intolerant state that brainwashes children through religious indoctrination.” Who’s doing the brainwashing and indoctrination again?

The NBC News website featured, right up top this morning, a story titled, “Fear pervades Tennessee’s trans community amid focus on Nashville shooter’s gender identity.”

These folks don’t seem to be aware that a “transgender” person attacked a Christian church school, not the other way around. And it is “transgender” people, not Christians, calling for a “day of vengeance” on April 1.

When not blaming the victims, media reports — of course — blamed guns. “Some on the right blame gender identity and not guns for Nashville shooting,” read the headline of another top story at NBC News. Conservatives blame the perpetrator.

MSNBC featured as its top headline Monday evening: “6 are dead in Nashville. Let’s revisit how much the Tennessee GOP loves guns.” The Washington Post covered a “GOP congressman from Nashville district” who said he is “heartbroken.” The Post immediately added, “A 2021 photo shows his family with firearms.” Other media outlets took that same angle.

Newsweek huffed, “Drag shows and gender-affirming care for minors were banned in Tennessee this month, while assault weapons remain legal.”

Similarly, civil rights attorney and Harvard law clinical instructor Alejandra Caraballo said in a since-limited tweet, “Thank god Tennessee protected the children from the so-called horrors of drag and gender affirming care so they can be shot up at school by an AR-15 instead.”

What the heck is the matter with these people?

Meanwhile, Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley is pressing the Justice Department to investigate this as a hate crime. “What police have told us in Nashville is that this was targeted at this Christian school, the Christian students, the Christian employees and that they believe it was definitely premeditated and there was a deliberate attempt to target the school,” Hawley said. “We need to be clear that when you target people of faith, that is a hate crime.”

Sadly, hate is part of the human condition and there’s plenty to go around. What’s clear from Monday’s massacre, however, is that one side is far quicker to promote it as mainstream.

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