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“The Swedish Study” doesn’t say what anti-trans activists claim

Anti-trans activists have brought up “The Swedish Study” to claim that trans people have 19x higher suicide rates

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By Erin Reed | WASHINGTON – In recent months, many anti-trans activists, Republicans and witnesses have cited a “Swedish Study,” alleging that transgender individuals face a 19 times higher suicide rate after receiving gender-affirming care.

Dr. Jennifer Bauwens mentioned this study in a congressional hearing on gender affirming care recently. Chloe Cole, a political detransitioner, referred to the study in a lawsuit against Kaiser Family Foundation. Even Elon Musk cited the study, suggesting he would “actively lobby to criminalize gender-affirming care for transgender youth.”

The issue? The “Swedish Study” doesn’t support any of these claims. It uses data from several decades ago, a period when transgender people faced heightened abuse rates, to make a statement about that time period. Moreover, the study doesn’t discuss or observe the impact of gender-affirming care on suicidality, contrary to what these opponents suggest.

Typically, when anti-trans activists refer to “The Swedish Study,” they are citing a 2011 study done by a research team led by Dr. Cecilia Dhejne, a medical research doctor specializing in gender identity. The study looked at 324 transgender people who had received sex-reassignment surgery between the years of 1973-2003.

The purpose of the study was to analyze all-cause mortality among the patient population, historically, in order to assess transgender health in that time period. Specifically, the study says that it does not “address whether sex reassignment is an effective treatment or not.

Importantly, the study does not compare transgender people who received gender affirming care with transgender people who did not receive gender affirming care. Instead, it compares transgender people who received care with the general population of cisgender people – this is purposeful, as the point of the study was to evaluate the unique health risks of post-op transgender people.

Again, the study makes no evaluation of the risks or effectiveness of gender affirming care.

The study recorded high rates of all-cause mortality and elevated suicide rates between 1973 and 2003. Such findings are consistent with the challenges faced by the transgender community during this period. Discrimination against transgender individuals was rampant.

The AIDS/HIV epidemic disproportionately affected the community. While the gay rights movement made significant strides, transgender rights often lagged far behind. Past standards of care were extremely restrictive, mandating dozens of very costly therapy sessions.

Access to hormone medication was heavily gatekept. Widespread discrimination was prevalent; during this era, many transgender individuals were compelled to present according to their assigned sex at birth in workplaces, schools, and various public spaces. It was a rough period for the transgender community.

Although the study recorded high rates of mortality and suicide, which is understandable given the political climate decades ago, it crucially did not compare the suicide and mortality rates of post-op trans individuals with those who did not receive care or surgery. This distinction is vital, given frequent assertions that the study claims “gender-affirming care leads to higher suicide rates.”

The study does not substantiate this claim. In reality, the elevated suicide rates in the 1980s likely resulted from widespread sexual violence, abuse, and discrimination faced by the transgender community in that era. It’s likely that the suicide rates were even more pronounced among those who did not access care.

The author of the study has specifically come out against those who use the study to claim that “gender affirming care causes suicide” or that “gender affirming care does not lower suicide rates.” Dr. Dhejne, when addressing these misleading interpretations, stated of the study:

People who misuse the study always omit the fact that the study clearly states that it is not an evaluation of gender dysphoria treatment. If we look at the literature, we find that several recent studies conclude that WPATH Standards of Care compliant treatment decrease gender dysphoria and improves mental health.”

Despite the study not saying what anti-trans activists claim it says, it is still one of the most commonly cited studies used to justify banning gender affirming care. It has been used in multiple hearings across the United States. The Heritage Foundation has referred to the study to support bans. The Florida AHCA report used to justify banning care in the state likewise leans heavily on the study.

Despite this, some anti-trans activists have noted that misusing the study is akin to willful dishonesty. Dr. Leor Sapir, a political scientist from the anti-trans Manhattan Institute who has advocated against gender affirming care, called out his colleagues over the misuse of the study:

Despite this, there are a wealth of studies that show that gender affirming care does save lives. A recent report from the medical journal, The Lancet, dated July 26, indicates that gender-affirming care is a form of preventative healthcare.

This care is tied to improved quality of life and is vital for the well-being of transgender youth. Multiple studies have found that it leads to positive psychological outcomes and significantly reduces suicidality—with some research noting an impressive 73% drop. The effectiveness of gender-affirming care is bolstered by a compilation of more than 50 papers assembled by Cornell University, each emphasizing its positive effects.

In the future, anticipate more frequent references to “the Swedish study.” Despite the fact that the study draws from data several decades old and doesn’t compare the outcomes of those who received gender-affirming care with those who didn’t, it has become a predominant source of misinformation. It’s vital to be informed about such misinformation, especially as it is employed to support policies that undermine science and potentially transgender individuals globally.

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Erin Reed is a transgender woman (she/her pronouns) and researcher who tracks anti-LGBTQ+ legislation around the world and helps people become better advocates for their queer family, friends, colleagues, and community. Reed also is a social media consultant and public speaker.

Follow her on Twitter (Link)

Website here: https://www.erininthemorning.com/

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The preceding article was first published at Erin In The Morning and is republished with permission.

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Research/Study

EdTech threats to LGBTQ student privacy & equity in the age of AI 

Schools are filtering & blocking LGBTQ+ & race-related content, with licensed special education teachers more likely to report such practices

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LGBTQ + censored graphic by Nicole Bixler

By Elizabeth LairdMaddy Dwyer & Hugh Grant-Chapman | WASHINGTON – In schools across the country, the use of educational data and technology (edtech) remains nearly ubiquitous. In addition to supporting instruction, schools have used edtech to respond to the painfully present safety threats that they face on a daily basis — from gun violence to the youth mental health crisis.

However, long-standing technologies such as content filtering and blocking and student activity monitoring pose well-documented privacy and equity risks to students. Nonetheless, schools continue to deploy these technologies on a mass scale. And with generative artificial intelligence (AI) becoming rapidly integrated into the education space, many new risks are being introduced to students.

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) conducted surveys of high school students and middle and high school parents and teachers from July to August 2023 to understand how edtech used by schools is tangibly affecting those it claims to serve. The research focuses on student privacy concerns and schools’ capacity to address them; emerging uses of AI-driven technology such as predictive analytics; and deep dives into content filtering and blocking, student activity monitoring, and generative AI, encompassing both well-established and emerging technology. These surveys build on CDT’s previous research, which revealed that student activity monitoring is adversely affecting all students, especially historically marginalized and under-resourced students.

Whether old or new, technologies deployed across schools have negative impacts on students, and schools are out of step in addressing rising concerns:

  • Schools are not adequately engaging and supporting students, parents, and teachers in addressing concerns about school data and technology practices: Students, parents, and teachers report a lack of guidance, information, and training on privacy, student activity monitoring, content filtering and blocking, and generative AI. They want more support from their schools and to be involved in decisions about whether and how these technologies are used.
  • Content blocking and filtering is stifling student learning and growth: Students and teachers agree that this technology is a barrier to learning, often making it hard to complete school assignments and access useful information.
  • Student activity monitoring continues to harm many of the students it claims to help: Disciplinary actions, outing of students, and initiating of law enforcement contact are still regular outcomes of the use of this technology, even though it is procured by schools to help keep students safe.
  • Schools have provided little guidance about generative AI, leaving students, parents, and teachers in the dark: Students, parents, and teachers report a collective state of confusion about policies and procedures related to responsible generative AI use in the classroom. Meanwhile, students are getting in trouble for the use of this technology.

Even more disheartening is that in all of these areas, at-risk communities of students are still experiencing disproportionate negative impacts of these old and new technologies:

  • Schools are filtering and blocking LGBTQ+ and race-related content, with Title I and licensed special education teachers more likely to report such practices: Although filtering and blocking technology was originally intended to primarily target explicit adult content, more school administrators are using it to restrict access to other content they think is inappropriate, including LGBTQ+ and race-related content. Title I and licensed special education teachers are more likely to report this occurrence. In key respects, this finding parallels the broader trend in education of removing books and curricular content on these subjects.
  • Student activity monitoring is disproportionately harming students with disabilities and LGBTQ+ students: Students with individualized education programs (IEPs) and/or 504 plans as well as licensed special education teachers report higher rates of discipline arising from student activity monitoring. LGBTQ+ students are also still being disciplined more than their peers and outed without their consent.
  • Title I and licensed special education teachers report higher rates of students receiving disciplinary actions for using or being accused of using generative AI: Despite having little guidance from schools on generative AI use, Title I teachers, licensed special education teachers, and parents of students with IEPs and/or 504 plans report higher rates of their student(s) getting in trouble as compared to peers.

Previous CDT research and this year’s findings continue to document the risks and harms of edtech on all students but especially on vulnerable communities. As uses of edtech, particularly AI-driven technology, continue to expand, education leaders across the country should focus not only on privacy concerns but also on identifying and preventing discrimination. Luckily, they already have the tools to do so with well-established civil rights laws that apply to discriminatory uses of technology.

Read the full report (Here)

Explore the research slide deck (Here)

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The preceding article was previously published by The Center for Democracy & Technology and is republished with permission.

CDT is the leading nonpartisan, nonprofit organization fighting to advance civil rights and civil liberties in the digital age.

CDT shapes technology policy, governance, and design with a focus on equity and democratic values. Established in 1994, CDT has been a trusted advocate for digital rights since the earliest days of the internet.

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News Analysis

“Biological clothing” dress code espoused by UK & U.S. far-right

In a Sex Matters event in the Manchester, England, “Gender Critical” activists espoused gendered dress codes. The same being pushed in U.S.

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By Erin Reed | WASHINGTON – “Sex based uniforms are also lawful,” a slide proclaimed at a Sex Matters event in Manchester, England. “Children’s actual sex must be known by everyone in the school environment.”

Meanwhile, in the United States, Harrison County School District made headlines when it announced that students would be forced to dress in clothing “consistent with their biological sex.” In Texas, the department of agriculture released a letter to employees, requiring all state employees in the department to “comply with this dress code in a manner consistent with their biological sex.” Those who oppose the existence and visibility of transgender people in public life now seemingly have turned their efforts of gender conformity to everyone.

In a Manchester museum, the Sex Matters event unfurled, steered by ardent campaigners against transgender rights, Helen Joyce and Maya Forstater. Among the aims of the events were items such as “the fight to make sure the law protects women’s rights.” Interestingly, the gathering presented a distinct dress code for its attendees: “Be the billboard for sex-based rights (Adult Human Female; This Witch Doesn’t Burn – or your preferred slogan); embody the spirit of the Suffragettes in tones of purple, green, and white; or wear whatever you like” (emphasis added).

While giving the presentation, Maya Forstater could be seen in a relaxed pose, donned in trousers and sandals. Behind her, a slide loomed, advocating for stringent measures on social transition for trans people in schools. The restrictions espoused included “Sex-based rules” relating to restroom usage, pronouns, and attire, even barring students from donning “the uniform of the opposite sex.”

Meanwhile in the U.S., a flurry of gender-conformity laws and policies have emerged, seemingly in response to the rising visibility of transgender people. Earlier this year in Mississippi, a transgender girl was told she would be barred from her own graduation walk because she desired to wear the same dress the other girls were wearing.

On graduation day, a cisgender girl met a similar fate, this time for her decision to wear pants. In the midst of this, her grandmother voiced her anguish: “I don’t understand how a moment this important can be taken away from a child that’s worked 12 years to get here.” The district has since solidified its clothing policies, stating that all students must wear clothing “consistent with their biological sex.”

Increasingly, policies that were originally aimed at transgender people are now being aimed at all of society. Major influencers in the modern anti-trans panic such as Ben Shapiro have advocated for local laws dictating what men and women can wear in public. PragerU, recently contracted out to major school districts, advocates for gendered dress codes. Yet, this shift isn’t confined to dress codes alone.

Pronoun and name change bans are also recently coming into effect in school districts across the United States and worldwide. In the United States, 11 states have policies that will lead to the forced outing of transgender people if they change their name and pronouns. In Iowa, Senator Bennett posted a message from a school district stating that in accordance with a recent law passed there, the teacher needed parental permission to start calling a student Joe rather than Joseph. In Canada, similar policies are being enacted.

Increasingly too, the same people that have advocated for gender affirming care bans and dress codes are pushing for gender conformity more overtly. Matt Walsh calls for “traditional masculinity” while chastising “childless women.” Michael Knowles attacked the UN Council on Women for indicating that boys can cry. These appeals to a “more traditional masculinity” are often echoed directly, such as in the recent DeSantis anti-trans political ad with superimposed images of muscular chests and the Governor’s face.

The distance between these views and those who call themselves “gender critical” is increasingly growing narrower. Just this week, a widely mocked tweet from one gender critical activist proclaimed that “girls need blouses and skirts” for biological reasons:

Increasingly, many are questioning whether advocacy for gendered dress codes can genuinely be labeled as “gender critical” or even “feminist.” When the organizers of the Sex Matters event championed policies like sex-segregated classes, they faced sharp criticism from those highlighting the contradictions in their platform. This incongruity isn’t new, though. It continues to cast doubt on whether “gender critical” activists truly seek to dismantle, rather than entrench, gender stereotypes.

The Sex Matters event illuminated how opposition to transgender individuals can eventually affect everyone. The concept of “biological clothing” lacks historical grounding—centuries ago, men donned dresses and baby boys were dressed in white and pink. Imposing limitations not just on an individual’s right to transition, but also on people’s freedom to express themselves, might be more than what was bargained for; nevertheless, it is an easy extension of attacks on transgender people allowed to go on unchecked.

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Erin Reed is a transgender woman (she/her pronouns) and researcher who tracks anti-LGBTQ+ legislation around the world and helps people become better advocates for their queer family, friends, colleagues, and community. Reed also is a social media consultant and public speaker.

Follow her on Twitter (Link)

Website here: https://www.erininthemorning.com/

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The preceding article was first published at Erin In The Morning and is republished with permission.

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News Analysis

Conservatives find new LGBTQ+ outrage: Paw Patrol

It’s hard to keep track of everything conservative’s have cancelled for LGBTQ+ representation in recent months

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By Erin Reed | WASHINGTON – Bud Light beer. Costa coffee. Target clothing. It’s hard to keep track of everything conservative’s have cancelled for LGBTQ+ representation in recent months. It seems even the mere mention of a transgender person is enough to get a company targeted these days, and a single rainbow flag could result in harassment and bomb threats.

Now, conservatives have turned their eyes to a new target to be outraged over: Paw Patrol.

Or, to be more accurate, their outrage has turned the Paw Patrol spinoff, Rubble & Crew, a construction-themed spinoff of the original animated series. In a viral video on twitter reaching over 2 million people, conservative influencer and former GOP primary candidate Robby Starbuck opened his video with the ominous statement, “They are coming for your children.” The outrageous content in question worthy of such a bold claim? A single nonbinary character wearing trans colored socks, who appears in only a single episode.

You can watch the video here:

Robby Starbuck video on Paw Patrol

The video quickly gained traction among prominent conservative influencers and elected officials. Libs of TikTok, notorious for fueling viral outrage and inciting violence against LGBTQ+ individuals and their supporters, circulated the video. They then falsely alleged that Paw Patrol was “embedding pornographic links on their candy wrappers,” a claim refuted by Twitter’s Community Notes feature. The Daily Caller, often criticized for transphobic content, also wrote an article on the matter. Prominent elected officials, like Tennessee House Majority Leader Representative William Lambeth, who penned the state’s ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth, also shared the video.

The video identifies queer author Lindz Amer as the creative mind behind the episode. Amer, a distinguished writer and recipient of the GLAAD Rising Stars Grant awarded for initiatives that “champion intersectional LGBTQ+ issues,” shared their excitement on Instagram: “I wanted to write a nonbinary character that was aspirational and incredibly cool, someone for the pups (and kids at home) to look up to. They found an awesome non-binary actor to voice River and I’m so so happy about how it turned out.”

Representation matters, especially for the LGBTQ+ community. As more individuals embrace their true identities and come out, families are increasingly inclusive of LGBTQ+ members. The Internet and Television Association has observed that over the past two decades, the shift towards greater acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals can be largely attributed to positive portrayals on TV. Speaking on the matter with the NCTA, GLAAD’s Director of Entertainment Research & Analysis emphasized the significance of LGBTQ+ representation in children’s programming, noting, “By introducing this level of representation to children’s shows, we foster conversations about embracing differences, ensuring that children begin to cultivate a robust sense of self-worth from a young age.”

In recent months, though, conservatives have sought out to stamp out representation in all aspects of public life. Sixteen states have enacted restrictions on LGBTQ+ content in educational settings, under the guise of “Don’t Say Gay Or Trans” laws. In Florida, an educator was dismissed for as little as showing a Disney film featuring a gay character. GOP attorneys general have penned letters to Target, claiming the sale of LGBTQ+ themed apparel for young people violates obscenity laws. In Georgia, a predetermined mock trial saw a teacher fired for reading the Scholastic Kids book, “My Shadow Is Purple.” Virginia witnessed a lawsuit against Barnes & Noble, calling for the removal of LGBTQ+ books from their shelves. Ironically, the same conservatives who once lambasted the notion of “cancel culture” now seem to have fully embraced it.

For those who want to see the episode, it has just been released. The episode is titled, “The Crew Builds An Observatory,” where the characters join together to help River, the nonbinary character in question, catch a picture of a shooting star. You can watch it now on Nick Jr.

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Erin Reed is a transgender woman (she/her pronouns) and researcher who tracks anti-LGBTQ+ legislation around the world and helps people become better advocates for their queer family, friends, colleagues, and community. Reed also is a social media consultant and public speaker.

Follow her on Twitter (Link)

Website here: https://www.erininthemorning.com/

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The preceding article was first published at Erin In The Morning and is republished with permission.

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News Analysis

Court “expert” couldn’t name any medications for blocking puberty

New investigative piece delves into anti-trans experts making the rounds across the nation. One could not name a common puberty blocking drug

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Hormone associated therapy and sex hormone suppression Lupron (leuprolide) (Screenshot/YouTube Cleveland Clinic)

By Erin Reed | WASHINGTON – A cohort of so-called experts has traveled the United States, raking in more than a million dollars to contest gender-affirming care for trans youth in court battles.

Judges have frequently dismissed them as lacking credibility, yet states continue to shell out for their services. A recent deep dive by HuffPost into court transcripts now casts serious shadows over their proclaimed “expertise.”

Astoundingly, one of these alleged specialists, Dr. James Cantor, couldn’t even identify a single drug used in puberty-blocking treatments for transgender youth.

The article uncovers the details around a group of six witnesses that states have paid over a million dollars to defend anti-trans laws. These witnesses include:

  • Paul Hruz – An endocrinologist who, according to court documents in Arkansas, has never treated a patient for gender dysphoria.
  • Michael Laidlaw – An endocrinologist often associated with the Alliance Defending Freedom who has appeared in conferences that promote “curing homosexuality through faith healing.”
  • James Cantor – A psychologist who did not see youth patients in his care typically, has never diagnosed gender dysphoria in young people, and who subscribes to the much discredited theory of “autogynephelia,” essentially calling being transgender a fetish.
  • Stephen Levine – An ex-WPATH psychiatrist who argues for removal of gender affirming care for transgender inmates.
  • Quentin Van Meter – Former president of the American College of Pediatricians, a SPLC-designated hate group that supports sexual orientation therapy.
  • Patrick Lappert – A doctor who is also a deacon for Courage International, a conversion therapy organization encouraging gay people to “live chaste lives.”

Judges have consistently ruled these witnesses as not credible. For example, in Arkansas, Judge Moody declared Dr. Lappert and Dr. Hruz unqualified—both had attempted to defend the state’s law.

Moody pointed out that their views on gender-affirming care “are rooted in ideology rather than science.” In Florida, a judge emphasized in a footnote that Dr. Hruz appeared as “a deeply biased advocate” and highlighted the underlying ideological insinuation from these so-called experts that “transgender identity is not real, that it is made up.”

These witnesses have, at times, made statements widely decried as cruel towards transgender people. Dr. Hruz has, for instance, once allegedly answered claims of transgender suicidality with the statement: “some children are born into this world to suffer and die.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Lappert, in an interview on a Catholic YouTube channel, even compares pronouns to heresy, stating “no one is served by heresy.”

Now, in this latest investigative piece by HuffPost, new court transcripts have been analyzed and unveiled, including this stunning deposition of Dr. James Cantor, when he was unable to name a single puberty blocker:

Because of moments like this, judges at the district court level have frequently ruled against anti-trans experts on the scientific grounds for bans on gender-affirming care. Specifically, in cases from FloridaArkansas, and Tennessee, judges determined that the facts robustly endorse gender-affirming care’s efficacy in curbing suicidality, anxiety, and depression in transgender youth.

Yet, some of these rulings have been overturned at the appellate level in ongoing court fights. This shift isn’t due to appellate judges being persuaded by these witnesses’ testimonies. Instead, they lean on the recent Dobbs abortion decision, which permits such bans based on the premise that gender-affirming care “is not deeply rooted in this nation’s history and traditions.”

GOP-aligned judges in the 6th and 11th Circuit courts contend that transgender individuals don’t constitute a “quasi-suspect class” under the equal protection clause. They argue that discrimination against transgender individuals doesn’t amount to unlawful gender discrimination, essentially sidestepping the rationale the Supreme Court employed in Bostock v. Clayton County, which established Title VII rights for trans individuals. With this perspective, these circuits employ the “rational basis” review as opposed to intermediate scrutiny.

This means states aren’t obligated to demonstrate that these bans are precisely targeted and evidence-backed, but merely that the law has a rational connection to a legitimate governmental objective. This stance diverges from the 8th Circuit Court, which sustained the preliminary injunction in Arkansas using intermediate scrutiny.

To the advantage of these state “experts,” they can persistently promote pseudoscientific perspectives on transgender care without genuinely substantiating the care’s purported harm. This endeavor has proven exceedingly profitable for them.

Based on public records requests, state and local governments have disbursed $1.1 million to such experts and an additional $6.6 million to affiliated teams. These numbers, as reported by HuffPost, likely are half of the true dollar figure given that many states did not release their spending.

There are many more court cases left – challenges are currently proceeding in places like MontanaNorth DakotaOklahoma, and more states have court cases currently underway. Undoubtedly, these experts will continue to travel and defend anti-trans state laws in many of these states.

You can read the full investigative report from HuffPost here.

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Erin Reed is a transgender woman (she/her pronouns) and researcher who tracks anti-LGBTQ+ legislation around the world and helps people become better advocates for their queer family, friends, colleagues, and community. Reed also is a social media consultant and public speaker.

Follow her on Twitter (Link)

Website here: https://www.erininthemorning.com/

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The preceding article was first published at Erin In The Morning and is republished with permission.

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Research/Study

Candace Owens suspended for anti-LGBTQ YouTube hate again

The Daily Wire personality’s channel has recently featured false accusations that the LGBTQ “agenda” is to push pedophilia

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Graphic by Andrea Austria for Media Matters

By  Ari Drennen | WASHINGTON – A short video posted Tuesday on the Daily Wire’s YouTube channel contained a by-now familiar disclosure: the platform had suspended Candace Owens, “prohibiting her from posting or appearing on any of the Daily Wire’s YouTube channels.” Multiple Daily Wire personalities have triggered enforcement actions by the platform for their frequent vitriol against LGBTQ people.

In announcing the news, Daily Wire personality Michael Knowles did not say how long the suspension was expected to last, but Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing stated in June that Owens and Knowles had both received two strikes against their accounts for violating YouTube’s policies on hate speech. Three strikes against a YouTube account in a 90-day period can lead to its termination. Because the Daily Wire did not confirm the timing of the first strike, it is possible that it occurred prior to the current 90 window, leaving the podcaster with two strikes.

In response to a request for comment, a YouTube spokesperson stated: “We issued a strike to the Candace Owens Podcast channel for violating our hate speech policy, which prohibits content promoting hatred against protected individuals or groups, including the LGBTQ+ community.”

The video “Carlee Russell The Female Jussie Smollet?!” appears to have been removed from Owens’ channel. Media Matters previously reported on comments featured in the video, which followed Owens’ publication of an interview titled, “Is Homosexuality Ruining Western Civilization?” and included the claim that “it is gay men that are abusing children” in the Catholic Church.

Independent analysis still shows, however, that Owens’ YouTube channel, which is estimated to earn as much as $1.1 million per yearremains monetized with advertiser content. Knowles’ show, which Social Blade estimates to bring in as much as $3 million annually, is monetized as well. 

Knowles responded to his own prior suspension by removing the most extreme anti-LGBTQ rhetoric from his show and telling his audience that they could find the content — including a members-only segment he called “Trans Tuesday” — on the Daily Wire’s website. Owens, meanwhile, plowed ahead with vicious attacks against gay people

Content from before Owens’ previous suspension featured accusations that anybody who shopped at the retail chain Target was “gay” and “a pervert,” claims that “transgenderism” is “a cancer and we should fight it,” and boasts that the podcaster could beat up a nonbinary naval service member. YouTube’s hate speech policies say content that “repeatedly targets, insults, and abuses a group based on protected group status across multiple uploads” may lead to penalties. 

YouTube’s enforcement of its policies related to the LGBTQ community has been uneven. In April, after repeatedly targeting TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney, Daily Wire personality and “What is a Woman” filmmaker Matt Walsh had advertiser revenue stripped from his channel, only to have it restored 90 days later despite Walsh publicly vowing not to change his behavior.

The banner image on Owens’ YouTube channel advertises her show as streaming live on DailyWire+, Rumble, and X (formerly Twitter). YouTube, notably, is missing from that list.

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The preceding article was previously published by Media Matters for America and is republished with permission.

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Research/Study

Political attacks on Trans youth are the tip of the iceberg 

“This is a coordinated & organized effort to erase not just trans people, but LGBTQ people from being able to publicly live our lives”

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Los Angeles Blade graphic

By Rebecca Farmer | BOULDER, Colo. – The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) released Banning Medical Care and Legal Recognition for Transgender People, the fifth in MAP’s report series, Under Fire: The War on LGBTQ People in America. 

The report details how the dramatic increase in political attacks on transgender youth are just the tip of the iceberg and part of a coordinated effort to eliminate transgender people of all ages from public life.

This year alone, state legislatures introduced more than 725 anti-LGBTQ bills shattering previous records. In 2023, more states enacted bans on transgender youth medical care than passed bans on marriage equality in 2004, one of the worst years in the fight for marriage equality.

“While most of the public focus has been on recent efforts to ban medical care for transgender youth, these attacks are part of a much larger, coordinated effort to try to erase transgender people from public life entirely,” said Logan Casey, Senior Policy Researcher & Advisor at MAP.  “Anti-LGBTQ extremists want to make it impossible for transgender people to be ourselves and to be legally recognized according to our gender identity.”  

This latest report in the Under Fire series from MAP identifies five core tactics opponents are using in their attempts to erase transgender people from public life: 

Tactic 1: Banning health care for transgender youth

The pace at which states are banning access to this care is remarkable. For example, prior to 2021, no states banned medical care for transgender youth.

Today, 22 states have enacted this kind of ban – 19 of them during this year alone. Currently more than 1 in 3 transgender youth live in a state that bans or severely restricts health care for them.  These kinds of laws have been enacted in all but two states in the U.S. South, leaving transgender youth in nearly an entire region without access to medically necessary care.  

Tactic 2: Banning health care or severely restricting health care for transgender adults

Bill introduced across the country are more explicitly targeting transgender adults’ access to care. Nearly one-third of youth-focused medical care ban bills introduced in 2023 would also limit health care for at least some transgender adults.

Some legislation seeks to ban healthcare for transgender adults by redefining a minor to include adults up to age 26.

At least nine states explicitly exclude transgender-related healthcare from Medicaid coverage for adults as well as youth. Some states also ban coverage transgender-related care in state health insurance plans.  Roughly one in seven bills attacking transgender health care included provisions to ban or restrict coverage in private health insurance.  

Tactic 3: Limiting transgender people’s ability to live openly and participate in daily life

Anti-LGBTQ forces are increasingly targeting the ability of transgender people to live openly and safely as themselves throughout their daily lives. This includes making it impossible or extremely difficult to obtain accurate ID, banning the use of bathrooms, restricting social transition, and more.  

ID documents: Four states ban people from updating the gender marker on their birth certificates and another 12 states impose invasive and overly burdensome medical requirements.  

Bathroom bans: Nine states now ban transgender people from using bathrooms and other facilities that match their gender identity. 

New bans, especially in Florida, are expanding their scope to apply not only to schools but also to other government-owned buildings and spaces; Florida’s ban includes major airports, sports arenas, and much more.  

Forced outing: Five states now require schools to out transgender students to their families, often regardless of whether this might put the child at risk of harm.  

Opponents are also working to overturn the existing but limited protections for transgender people, while also working to enact new ways to remove opportunities for legal recognition.

Just in 2023, four states have enacted a new kind of law that defines “sex” throughout state law to allow discrimination against transgender and nonbinary people. Two additional states’ governors issued executive orders to the same effect.  

Fewer than half of states have explicit nondiscrimination protections for transgender people. Some states are working to undermine those existing protections with religious exemptions

Tactic 5: Criminalizing and harassing supporters of transgender people

Even supporters of transgender equality are being targeted. Healthcare providers for transgender people are facing loss of their licenses or even criminal penalties for providing medically necessary care that is endorsed by major medical associations.

In five states, it is now a felony to provide best-practice medical care to transgender youth.  Dozens of hospitals have reported receiving bomb threats and other serious harassment for providing medically necessary care to transgender youth.  

Many bills in recent years also target parents who support their transgender children. Florida legislation introduced in 2023 would have allowed the state to remove children from their families if the parents were even suspected of supporting them in receiving best-practice medical care. 

“Make no mistake – this swift and coordinated attack on transgender people in the U.S. is part of a larger war on LGBTQ people,” said Casey. “It’s essential that we see beyond one bill or policy to understand the broader scope of what is occurring. This is a coordinated and organized effort to try to erase not just transgender people, but LGBTQ people overall, from being able to publicly live our lives.” 

The entire “Under Fire” series is available here

About MAP: MAP’s mission is to provide independent and rigorous research, insight and communications that help speed equality and opportunity for all. MAP works to ensure that all people have a fair chance to pursue health and happiness, earn a living, take care of the ones they love, be safe in their communities, and participate in civic life. www.mapresearch.org

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News Analysis

Missouri trans clinic closure: Page out of anti-abortion playbook

The restriction on clinics serving trans youth bears a striking resemblance to liability laws targeting another medical procedure: abortion

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Washington University's Transgender Center is located at St. Louis Children's Hospital. (Photo Credit: St Louis Children's Hospital/Facebook)

By Erin Reed | WASHINGTON – In a recent Tuesday statement, the gender clinic at Washington University announced its decision to cease services for transgender youth under its care.

While youth already receiving care were ostensibly protected under a “grandfather clause” following Missouri’s ban on gender-affirming care, another facet of the law was previously underreported: a prolonged 15-year liability window for those same individuals if they allege “harm” from such treatments, even if the care was performed perfectly.

The touted “grandfather clause” exempting trans youth who already were receiving care appears to have been a mirage, one which disappeared the moment this portion of the bill kicked in. Now, Republicans have a mechanism for closing trans clinics around the country, and they’re borrowing an old tactic from anti-abortion laws to do so, with troubling implications for both.

The provision states that medical practitioners are subject to liability for 15 years following gender affirming care for transgender youth. Disturbingly, one need not even prove neglect on the part of a doctor for a lawsuit to be successful. Providing care under such a system would be impossible.

Washington University’s clinic echoed this sentiment in its recent statement where it announced it would end care: “Due to Missouri’s latest legislation on transgender care, a novel legal challenge has emerged for those treated as minors. This claim introduces insurmountable liability for our health professionals, making it impossible for us to continue all-encompassing transgender care for minors without placing the university and our staff under untenable legal risk.”

You can see the liability provision here:

This is not the first time that a state has used stringent liability provisions as a covert method to ban certain medical treatments. The Missouri restriction on clinics serving transgender youth bears a striking resemblance to liability laws targeting another medical procedure: abortion.

In 1997, Louisiana’s Act 825 laid out specific liability consequences for abortion providers. Perversely, under this legislation, a patient who voluntarily sought and underwent an abortion could then sue for “damages” that, bizarrely, encompassed the intended outcome of the procedure itself—the death of the “unborn child.”

Oklahoma followed a similar trajectory, introducing liability tied to mandatory parental notification for all abortions conducted within its borders. Arguably the most extreme manifestation of this trend surfaced recently in Texas, where laws now empower virtually anyone to sue an abortion provider solely for performing the procedure.

These liability provisions make providing care prohibitively difficult. Firstly, their duration is much longer the typical liability timeframe associated with other medications and procedures. To put it in perspective, Missouri’s medical malpractice lawsuits for all other medical procedures have a window of just 2 years.

What amplifies the predicament is that there’s no need to prove neglect—diverging sharply from standard malpractice suits where establishing neglect is pivotal. These specific provisions targeting gender-affirming and abortion care essentially render the practice financially untenable. Yet, the most most damaging aspect of these provisions is in the difficulty in fighting them in court.

Louisiana’s Act 825 came during a period where Roe v. Wade protections still applied. By 1997, Louisiana had lost several lawsuits declaring abortion bans unconstitutional. In 1990, the state had passed an absolute abortion ban with only an exception “to save the life of the woman or in cases of rape and incest.” This was ruled unconstitutional in 1992.

Legislatures contended with repeated findings on the constitutionality of abortion and concocted new ways to target it. Act 825 represented a major breakthrough.

To challenge a law traditionally, one must target an entity that might enforce it against them, often a state’s district attorney or attorney general. However, Louisiana’s Act 825 posed a unique conundrum. Doctors wishing to administer abortions found themselves devoid of a clear entity to litigate against in seeking to negate the law.

Instead, they were confronted with the peril of possibly being sued after performing an abortion and hoping the challenge would falter in court on constitutional grounds. This amplified risk notably heightened the financial strain of facilitating abortions within the state. Nevertheless, a handful of practitioners pressed on, banking on Roe v. Wade to shield them in individual legal battles.

For trans care, though, it is even more perilous. There is no overarching Roe v. Wade law with settled precedent. Instead, that precedent is still developing as courts seek to interpret if transgender people can be legally discriminated against, or if they are offered protections under the 14th Amendment.

Clinics like the Washington University Gender Clinic cannot even sue to overturn the liability provisions, which could be cost-prohibitive if even a single transgender person decides, 15 years later, that they are unsatisfied with their transition.

There are already signs that liability provisions are expanding. In Texas, for instance, SB1029 passed the Senate but was not ultimately enacted into law. Unlike the Missouri law, which limited the liability provisions to trans youth, the Texas bill expanded it to all transgender care. Any doctor could be sued by any patient, even if the care was provided perfectly, and they would remain strictly liable. Should any state wish to ban gender affirming care for all trans adults, bills like this could be a mechanism to do so.

Given the parallels between anti-abortion and anti-trans legislations, it’s foreseeable that similar tactics may target both types of care in upcoming months. The narrative surrounding abortion and trans care—focused on the alleged “harm” they inflict—lays the groundwork for endorsing such legislations.

Furthermore, the liability clauses act as a deterrent to legal challenges, effectively weaponizing undue risk against the providers. This could lead to the cessation of vital services without any constitutional examination of the underlying laws in the near future.

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Erin Reed is a transgender woman (she/her pronouns) and researcher who tracks anti-LGBTQ+ legislation around the world and helps people become better advocates for their queer family, friends, colleagues, and community. Reed also is a social media consultant and public speaker.

Follow her on Twitter (Link)

Website here: https://www.erininthemorning.com/

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The preceding article was first published at Erin In The Morning and is republished with permission.

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News Analysis

X is placing major ads on a heavily followed antisemitic account

X CEO Linda Yaccarino keeps breaking her promise about brand safety as ads run on account endorsing killing politicians & LGBTQ advocates

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X (formerly Twitter) has been placing ads for major brands like MLB, Bayer, Tyson Foods, and eBay on the account of Stew Peters, a white nationalist streamer with over 400,000 followers who uses the social platform to endorse the killings of politicians and LGBTQ advocates. (Screenshot/YouTube Stew Peters Show)

By  Eric Hananoki | WASHINGTON – X (formerly Twitter) has been placing ads for major brands like MLB, Bayer, Tyson Foods, and eBay on the account of Stew Peters, a white nationalist streamer who uses the social platform to endorse the killings of politicians and LGBTQ advocates. 

Peters has over 400,000 followers on his account, which he uses to attack people for being Jewish, and recently wrote of the Elon Musk-backed “BanTheADL” campaign: “The ADL controlling free speech has gone on long enough. The final solution should be @elonmusk banning the @ADL from twitter/@x.”   

X CEO Linda Yaccarino has been claiming that her platform is a safe place for brands. She recently tweeted that X has a “commitment to brand safety” and told CNBC in a recent interview that companies are “protected from the risk of being next to” toxic content and, “By all objective metrics, X is a much healthier and safer platform than it was a year ago.” 

That’s false: Media Matters and other observers have shown that X remains a toxic environment, especially for advertisers. Since Elon Musk took over the company, X has placed ads for numerous brands directly on pro-HitlerHolocaust denialwhite nationalist, and neo-Nazi accounts. Ads have also appeared next to unhinged conspiracy theories about Jewish people and 9/11. 

Peters is a far-right conspiracy theorist, white nationalist, and Rumble host who believes that politicians, pro-vaccine advocates, and journalists must be executed.

Peters was previously banned on X when it was known as Twitter, but he was able to reopen an account under Musk. During his time on X, he has authored numerous posts that have spread false claims and conspiracy theories, including recently claiming that a laser weapon caused the Lahaina wildfires. 

He also uses his account to attack people for being Jewish and promote white nationalism. He once posted a celebratory picture of Hitler, writing: “Say what you will about Hitler, but people turned out for his rallies.” 

He wrote of the Holocaust: “The Covid bioweapon genocide is significantly WORSE than the holocaust in terms of worldwide reach and number of deaths.” 

Despite (or maybe because of) his toxic background, numerous political figures have appeared on his program. They include: U.S. Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Bob Good (R-VA), Pete Sessions (R-TX), and Andy Biggs (R-AZ); Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers; and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Peters recently spoke at the ReAwaken America tour in Las Vegas along with Donald Trump Jr., Lara Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Michael Flynn, among others. During that speech, Peters again called for the hanging of Anthony Fauci. 

Peters openly promotes violence on his account, which is a violation of X’s purported rules. X, however, has repeatedly failed to enforce its rules under Musk and Yaccarino’s watch. 

X placed ads for major advertisers on Peters’ violent posts and account 

We looked at two recent examples of Peters promoting violence and found numerous ads for major brands directly on those posts. We also looked at Peters’ account and found numerous other brand ads. 

Pro-LGBTQ killing. Peters posted an image of a flier calling for the murder of pro-LGBTQ advocates, including the anti-bullying group GLSEN and Target, because they support transgender rights. He wrote: “Apparently some fine Americans are circulating some literature at their local Target store.”

Brand ads on that post include:

Stew Peters ads

While advertising for Bayer — a pharmaceutical company that helped produce a COVID-19 vaccine — has appeared on his account, Peters has said drug companies involved in the manufacturing of the vaccine should receive “the death penalty.” 

Pro-politician killing. Peters posted an image of gallows with the caption “government repair kit.” He wrote: “We have a lot of repairing to do.” 

Brand ads on that post include:

Stew Peters ads second example

Peters’ account is filled with other calls for violence. Those include him posting a video of politicians and reporters making pro-COVID-19 vaccine remarks and writing, “Every single one of these people deserve the rope”; and him saying of non-binary singer Sam Smith, “Any serious society would give this demon the Old Yeller treatment.” 

Peters also recently suggested violence against California state Rep. Lori Wilson (D), posting on X regarding a speech she made supporting gender affirming care: “Time for a trip to the woodshed.” (Replies to Peters included “gallows,” “hang,” and “to the big tree.”) 

We also found ads for numerous brands on Peters’ account page: 

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The preceding article was previously published by Media Matters for America and is republished with permission.

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News Analysis

Charlie Kirk: Trans people are “An abomination to God”

Kirk calls trans people a “throbbing middle finger to God” then deadnaming trans swimmer Lia Thomas, stating, “you’re an abomination to God”

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Charlie Kirk speaking to reporters at a conservative gathering. (Screenshot/YouTube Right Wing Watch)

By Erin Reed | WASHINGTON – In a video released Monday by Right Wing Watch, Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk calls transgender people a “throbbing middle finger to God” and “an abomination.”

He follows up by deadnaming University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, stating, “you’re an abomination to God.” Kirk, an influential conservative who runs Turning Point USA, has previously made statements that could be interpreted to promote violence towards transgender people, such as the time he called for transgender people to be “taken care of” like men did in the “1950s and 60s.”

“The one issue that I think is so against our senses, so against the natural law – and dare I say, a throbbing middle finger to God – is the transgender thing happening in America right now,” Kirk said. “You’re in a church, so it’s important to remember Deuteronomy 22:5, ‘A woman shall not wear a man’s garment nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the lord your God.’ You hear that [Deadname removed] Thomas? You’re an abomination to God!”

You can see the video here (content warning: extreme anti-trans rhetoric, deadnaming):

Turning Point USA has played a significant role in politics opposing transgender rights. The organization, which operates with a budget in the tens of millions of dollars, supports candidates who emphasize anti-trans stances in their campaigns.

For example, Rep. Braxton Mitchell of Montana authored the state’s anti-drag bill, which passed but was later blocked as likely unconstitutional. Rep. Mazzie Boyd of Missouri penned similar legislation. Both were candidates that were developed through TPUSA or at conventions run by them.

Additionally, Turning Point USA operates the “Turning Point Academy,” an “educational movement” promoting anti-LGBTQ narratives for K-12 students. The organization has collaborated with Libs of TikTok, managed by Chaya Raichik, a notable anti-trans Twitter account criticized for inciting anti-trans violence.

Charlie Kirk has previously made extreme remarks about transgender individuals. Earlier this year, he interviewed swimmer Riley Gaines, known for her anti-trans views, and seemed to suggest transgender people should be dealt with violently, stating that trans people are “sick” and that men should have “taken care of” trans people like “we did in the 1950s and 60s.” Such remarks sparked significant protests at several universities where Kirk was scheduled to speak, including the University of California, Davis.

Charlie Kirk’s organization often conducts speaking tours on college campuses. One notable tour is the Live Free Tour. In 2022, it was advertised as an event to “counter left-leaning propaganda and uphold conservative values in the classroom.”

The 2023 tour includes both Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens. Owens has made violent comments regarding transgender individuals, suggesting she would beat a hypothetical trans grandchild with a cane and advocating for the removal of trans children from their parents.

Here are the 2023 tour dates for the Live Free Tour this year:

  • San Jose State University – October 2nd
  • University of Central Florida – October 10th
  • Georgia Tech – October 12th
  • University of Texas, San Antonio – October 18th
  • The University of Buffalo – October 25th
  • University of California, Los Angeles – November 9th

Kirk, along with many opponents of transgender rights, has often suggested that his views are rooted in science. He has criticized policies that allow transgender participation in sports, saying, “We have entered dangerous territory where science, biology, and facts no longer matter.” Turning Point USA has published videos echoing similar sentiments.

However, Kirk’s recent statements may cast doubt on this position. A majority of the anti-trans care bans over the past two years were crafted by a coalition of religious groups, as per leaked emails covered by Vice News, which characterized the emails as indicative of an “anti-trans holy war.”

With the organization and its leader increasingly emphasizing anti-trans legislation, monitoring their stance in the upcoming months will be crucial, especially as we approach 2024’s elections. While elections centered on trans issues haven’t resulted in many conservative wins—and have arguably led to losses in states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Georgia—it’s evident that Kirk and his organization view this as a galvanizing issue to rally a Republican base that opposes transgender rights.

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Erin Reed is a transgender woman (she/her pronouns) and researcher who tracks anti-LGBTQ+ legislation around the world and helps people become better advocates for their queer family, friends, colleagues, and community. Reed also is a social media consultant and public speaker.

Follow her on Twitter (Link)

Website here: https://www.erininthemorning.com/

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The preceding article was first published at Erin In The Morning and is republished with permission.

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News Analysis

Matt Walsh’s anti-LGBTQ YouTube hate speech monetized

After the Daily Wire personality announced the penalty, he repeatedly misgendered Lia Thomas & claimed LGBTQ people & allies were groomers

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Graphic by Molly Butler for Media Matters

By Ari Drennen | WASHINGTON – In an April 24 video posted to YouTube, Matt Walsh confirmed that his channel had been stripped of advertiser revenue, a first step to either permanent demonetization or a ban from the platform, claiming that the penalty would cost him more than $100,000 per month. 

Walsh then explained that he could “get back into YouTube’s good graces” and restore advertiser revenue to his channel by “simply respecting preferred pronouns and refraining from offering any meaningful critiques of gender ideology.”

He didn’t do any of that, misgendering Lia Thomas in multiple videos, attacking Bud Light, Disney, and Target with false accusations of “grooming” and “promoting transgenderism,” and claiming that LGBTQ activists demand child sacrifice. At least half a dozen videos published after Walsh’s demonetization and reviewed by Media Matters appear to violate YouTube’s advertiser-friendly guidelines. Three months later, YouTube restored advertiser revenue to his channel anyway. 

An August 25 YouTube video titled “Kids Are Now Being Forced To Learn Radical Gender Theory” features organic advertiser content while Walsh declares that LGBTQ activists believe “public schools should groom all kids” and that they demand “you offer your children up to them as sacrifices on their altar.” Ad content now also appears on Walsh’s videos from before he was demonetized, including one in which he attacks trans TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney, misgenders her multiple times, and calls her “a monster of our own making,” as well as on a shorter version of the same rant focused entirely on Mulvaney and the influencer’s connection to Bud Light. 

During his suspension from advertiser revenue, Walsh stopped posting the full version of his show to YouTube, opting instead to post it to the Daily Wire’s own website and X.com (formerly Twitter). But in shorter videos posted to YouTube, Walsh continued attacking Dylan Mulvaney and Bud Light, in defiance of YouTube’s disciplinary ruling, with a May 5 video mocking the brand’s poor sales, during which the podcaster declared, “It is going to make brands in the future think long and hard about promoting transgenderism.” 

Walsh’s flouting of YouTube guidelines didn’t stop there. In a video posted May 22, Walsh blasted former Vice President Mike Pence for siding with “the Disney groomers,” whom the Daily Wire personality claimed support “the castration and mutilation of kids” and “pornographic content in elementary schools.” The same day, Walsh called for a boycott of Target, saying, “Anyone who is making anything related to Pride, the Pride flag and all that — it’s all satanic imagery.”

video posted on June 2 contained some vivid verbal imagery, with Walsh saying, “We take Bud Light and we put its head on a — on a pike, okay, at the entrance of the town, to show the other woke corporations: This is what we can do. We can actually do this to you. We can destroy you.” Walsh then pivoted to Target, with a similarly blunt message: “To be seen walking out of Target carrying the Target bag with the Target symbol — it’s like you’re a groomer too.” 

Walsh also attacked former University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas. Throughout an interview with one of Thomas’ former teammates, over a year after her final swim meet, Walsh repeatedly deadnamed and misgendered the swimmer. Walsh himself seemed aware that he was violating YouTube’s community guidelines, as he promoted the interview two days later in a separate video, instructing viewers they could find the video on Twitter or YouTube, at least  “until YouTube takes it down.” Walsh misgendered Thomas in that video as well. 

In a video posted June 9, Walsh called me “depraved and insane” for defending the rights of adults to seek gender affirming care.

Without official ad content, Walsh started inserting ads for gold, skin care brand Genucel, and ExpressVPN into his monologues. At the same time, Walsh excoriated YouTube for its guidelines, saying, “Now they decided that if you just use the word ‘him’ in relation to a man who prefers to be seen as a woman, now that’s harassment.”

The platform blinked first. The Social Blade previously estimated Walsh’s annual advertiser revenue to be as high as $1.6 million per year. Now, following his return from demonetization, he could still be making as much as $1.4 million a year for sharing content that last year earned him the title of Transphobe of the Year. This kind of content fuels dangerous real world actions: a San Bernardino mother of 9 was shot in August defending the Pride flag in front of her store. The shooter had previously shared Walsh’s call to boycott Target and had pinned an image of a burning Pride flag to the top of his account on X.

Update (9/8/23): Matt Walsh reacted to this article by sharing it with his audience on X (formerly Twitter), writing simply “lol.”

In a statement to Media Matters confirming the initial demonetization, a spokesperson for YouTube wrote, “We suspended monetization on Matt Walsh’s channel due to repeated violations of our YouTube Partner Program policies, which include our Advertiser-Friendly Guidelines. These policies apply equally to all creators, regardless of political viewpoint, and channels that repeatedly violate these policies are demonetized.” YouTube’s hate speech policy prohibits content that “promotes violence or hatred against individuals or groups” based on, among other protected categories, “gender identity and expression” and/or “sexual orientation.”

Walsh repeatedly violated those policies during his suspension, and YouTube is rewarding him with cash by the truck load.

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The preceding article was previously published by Media Matters for America and is republished with permission.

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