January 16, 2010

Transphobia in the Mainstream Media

From The Bilerico Project::

It seems like all too often when you tune your radio or television to mainstream news and talk shows these days, there's good reason to be at minimum pretty annoyed, and sometimes even genuinely pissed off and angry if you're a transgender person or ally. Despite decades of progress made in the area of LGBT acceptance and representation in mainstream media, the problem of transphobia in mainstream media remains pervasive and seemingly virtually unchecked in some quarters, even in media specifically directed toward politically progressive and left-leaning audiences.

While there are probably few on either the left or the right who'd find it unusual for pundits and their guests on Fox News or similar media to enthusiastically bash transgender and gender-variant people, it amazes me how this kind of thing is all but completely ignored by just about everyone when it happens on a show popularly considered to be liberal and/or left-wing.

Let's take "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" as an example. On a broadcast last year that took place shortly after the incident, Keith's guest, author and Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, was humorously bashing Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean for her negative response to pageant judge Perez Hilton when asked if she supported same-sex marriage. Toward the end of the segment, Musto jokingly offered that in addition to her breast enhancements, the Miss USA pageant officials also paid for Prejean to "cut off her penis, sand her Adam's apple, and get a head-to-toe waxing," along with other transphobic insults. Olbermann's reaction, as far as I could tell, was to simply chuckle right along along with Musto's transphobic jokes.
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