Bozell & Graham Column: Transgender 'Fact' and Fantasy

April 30th, 2016 8:03 AM

The liberal opinion site that calls itself “PolitiFact” insists it’s just a “fact-checking” website. When choosing to assess whether a politician’s claim is true or false, their “About Us” page says they ask “Is the statement rooted in a fact that is verifiable? We don’t check opinions, and we recognize that in the world of speechmaking and political rhetoric, there is license for hyperbole.”   

With rare genetic exceptions, when it comes to humans, there is probably not a fact more verifiable than one’s gender. But guess what? On April 26, the website Mediaite carried the eye-grabbing headline: “PolitiFact Rules It’s Now Objectively False to Call Transgender Women Men.”

The alleged “fact” mangler was Ted Cruz, whose ad wondered "Should a grown man pretending to be a woman be allowed to use the women’s restroom?....Donald Trump thinks so.” PolitiFact rated that statement “Mostly False.”

Trump told NBC's Today that North Carolina shouldn't have stopped Charlotte's gender-blurring bathroom rules, but Cruz somehow failed the accuracy test.

“It’s not accurate to say that transgender women are men, as PolitiFact Texas has reported," PolitiFact writer Linda Qiu harrumphed. "Though there isn’t universal agreement on this point, medical experts typically agree that a transgender person is someone who identifies differently from their assigned sex at birth. In short, a transgender woman is a woman and not ‘a grown man pretending to be a woman.’”

To use their own terminology, this paragraph is a "Pants on Fire" lie.

This underlines the upside-down absurdity of this debate. Gender isn’t simply wished away. Surgeons can amputate body parts, but even then, gender “assigned at birth” remains a biological fact that can’t be overruled by psychological wishful thinking or political intimidation.

Alex Griswold at Mediaite smelled a rat: If “there isn’t universal agreement” among “medical experts,” then there’s trouble. “I’m pretty sure that when there’s debate about whether something is true, you don’t state as a matter of fact that it is.”

Remember: They claim “we don’t check opinions.”

Then the editors of PolitiFact grew nervous, and actually scrubbed the paragraph with the categorical lie that “a transgender woman is a woman.” They noted Mediaite and other readers thought PolitiFact “made it sound as if there is no public debate over transgender issues or how gender is defined. We did not mean to suggest that, and we have edited our report to more fully reflect that ongoing debate.”

They moved to these weasel words: “it’s not entirely accurate for Cruz to define a transgender woman as ‘a grown man pretending to be a woman.’" [Emphasis ours.] But the “Mostly False” ruling against Cruz remained. Not only were they immune to facts, they couldn’t even politically play it down the middle and allow any “license for hyperbole.”

On so many issues, liberals insist there is no debate and should be no debate, that the only debate is between sense and nonsense, truth and falsehood, fact and fantasy. But when it comes to “non-conforming” with the immutable facts on gender, they are the moral deconstructionists who take the side of nonsense, falsehood, and fantasy – and insist all the sane and sensitive “medical experts” agree with their negation of fact.

No one should settle a political debate with PolitiFact. On this issue, they’re simply so liberal they’re Politi-False.

Tell the Truth 2016