Mortifyingly Woke: PBS Film Champions The 19th, 'News' Site for Feminists, LGBTQ Activists

February 21st, 2024 3:55 PM

Breaking the News,” the latest entry in PBS’s documentary series “Independent Lens,” celebrated the 2020 launch of leftist journalism start-up The 19th* (asterisk included), which became a popular source for the most woke of PBS NewsHour journalistic guests.

The doc’s creators are clearly on the same wavelength with the feminist, LGBTQ-oriented site. From the “About” page:

Who decides which stories get told? A scrappy group of women and LGBTQ+ journalists buck the white male-dominated status quo, banding together to launch The 19th*, a digital news startup aiming to combat misinformation….

It opened with Emily Ramshaw, former Texas Tribune editor and co-founder of The 19th* at home with her husband David -- wincingly identified as “He/Him” on screen. Stuck at home in March 2020 during COVID, she's talking to a white male potential funder about how women are underrepresented in the industry.

As for that pretentious asterisk? Let editor-at-large Errin Haines explain(?).

Haines: I work in a newsroom that's named for the 19th Amendment but with an asterisk in our logo for the omission of the black women, who were, frankly, sacrificed so that white women could get their access to the ballot. What have they done with it? You know, used that access largely to uphold systems of patriarchy and oppression, right? So, you know, that is a dynamic that persists, and it's a dynamic that we have to confront.


The no-narrator, fly-on-the-wall approach still allowed the leftist flavor to seep out, with mentions of stories about “Trans voter disenfranchisement” and a valued source, the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization fond of bestowing the “hate group” label on its political opponents.

There was some mortifying internal drama for spice, provided by trans-man (i.e. biological woman) Kate Sosin, sad about being “misgendered” in staff meetings (“I spent the whole day in my apartment, crying in bed”) in between shots of Zoom meetings and cute dogs.

This quote from founder Ramshaw rang true.

Ramshaw: We’ve tried to be as transparent as we can be about the fact that our journalism isn’t about both sides. In some cases there aren’t two sides.

There you have it: A one-sided media outlet celebrated by PBS, a one-sided tax-funded news network.

Journalists from The 19th have already made several appearances on the taxpayer-funded PBS NewsHour, talking about abortion or transgenderism in decidedly fierce, non-objective terms. Haines shamelessly held Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis “at least partly responsible” for a racist killing in Jacksonville. NewsHour anchor Amna Nawaz actually appeared on The 19th itself, lamenting the loss of rights abortion bans would entail.

PS: The doc’s accompanying 16-page Discussion Guide was a woke work of art, worth reading for the unintentional humor supplied by self-important leftists, from the lead image of a woman wearing a COVID mask (in 2024!) to the Maoist-lite insistence on proper pronouns to avoid misgendering when discussing the doc (isn't it presumptuous to assume people will be gathering in groups to talk about this earnest snoozer?).

Under the subhead “Being Mindful of Language” was this speech policing:

When discussing the film, it’s important that everyone be respectful about their pronoun use. This includes references to the people in the film, as well as to panel participants and audience members. Anyone involved in the conversation is welcome to state their pronouns prior to discussion. And if someone is misgendered, gently remind the person who misspoke of the correct pronoun to use.

The journalistic tenet of balance was casually tossed into the trash.

In addition to these foundational tenets, newsrooms across the country pledge to be fair and balanced, showing both sides of a story. For decades this framework gave reporters the means to avoid bias and anchor their story in facts. This method, known as bothsidesism, was adopted and upheld as the gold standard in journalism.

We’re pretty sure no one has ever used the dismissive term “bothsidesism” when defending the goal of fair reporting.

Ramshaw made the case for denying conservative voices access to the media.

But in the last few years, some newsrooms, including The 19th*, have come to realize that bothsidesism doesn’t really serve the audience. As The 19th* CEO and co-founder Emily Ramshaw asks in the film, if one side isn’t interested in the facts or truth, why bother giving them a platform if they’re only going to spread hate and false facts that hurt and harm particular groups of our community?

Another suggested activity: “Hold a workshop on how cisgender white men can be better allies.