Early Show and GMA Deliver Pregnant 'Man' PR

April 3rd, 2008 4:15 PM
Men don't have babies. Period. Yet in covering the ‘pregnant man' story this morning both the "Early Show" and "Good Morning America" neither outlet dealt with this fact. Rather, both were completely focused on the fact that Thomas Beatie was speaking publicly for the first time and would be shown on today's "Oprah" show. Both outlets also reported that Beatie's story would appear in this week's issue of People, due on news stands tomorrow.

So really, the media were reporting on the media reporting on the pregnant man. Which really amounts to a public relations boon for Oprah, People and of course the Beaties.

On the Early Show the entire interview was with Patrick Rogers, the senior editor of People. GMA also interviewed Rogers, but included a psychologist as well. In both stories the focus was on the "unusual" aspects of the story. Take a look at the way the stories opened.

"Good Morning America's" Deborah Roberts said:

This one has people everywhere scratching their heads. Thomas Beatie can bench press 255 pounds. He's a black belt in karate and he's having a baby. That' right, a man giving birth. He and his wife are actually going public with their unusual circumstances for the first time today.

"Early Show's" Maggie Rodriquez said:

Thomas Beatty and his wife Nancy are expecting their first child. But there's a twist and it's a big one. He is having the baby. People Magazine did a photo shoot with the couple and has given us this exclusive behind the scenes video of this very unusual story. We're joined now by People Magazine Senior Editor Patrick Rogers. Good morning to you Patrick.

ROGERS: Good morning.

RODRIGUEZ: This is unbelievable, he looks like a man, he's legally a man, but he has female reproductive organs, right?

ROGERS: Yes, this is a story that takes a little getting used to. But Thomas Beatty started his life as a woman, and transitioned, became legally a man. He still has his female reproductive organs, and now he's pregnant -- six months pregnant.

He still has his female reproductive organs? Hello?

Note to Rogers, Rodriguez, Roberts and all of the other reporters covering the story: Men do not have babies. They do not have female reproductive organs.

The shallow reporting on this disturbing story is astounding. The MRC's Culture and Media Institute has issued a press release asking, "Why are the media advancing transgenderism and the lie of a pregnant ‘man'?

CMI's Director Robert Knight had this to say:

"She can have a baby; she's not a man. The media are conducting a charade in which a pregnant woman who had her breasts removed and takes hormones is a ‘man' having a baby. The circus will continue when Oprah gives this poor, disturbed woman a huge platform. In a clip from the "Oprah" show on People magazine's Web site, Oprah asks, ‘Do you think our country, this world is ready?'

"We'd say the media are making them ready. Oprah's clip also tells us her cameras have ‘captured it all.' I doubt they have. Unless Oprah decides to go in a completely different direction from other coverage, she'll be feeding this bizarre fantasy," Knight said. "Some outlets, like today's broadcast of "Good Morning America," have brought in medical professionals to talk about potential harm to the unborn child. But none has dealt honestly with the central issue of transgenderism. They refer to Thomas Beatie as ‘he' in the face of unarguable evidence: a pregnancy."

This is a provocative story that deserves serious reporting. It seems the media want to play off the sensationalism of a ‘pregnant man' but not deal with the manifold ramifications. No coverage of this story has used medical experts the caliber of Dr. Paul McHugh from Johns Hopkins University, a Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry.

McHugh, in a 2004 article, "Surgical Sex," explained why he changed his mind about transgender surgery.

"I concluded that Hopkins was fundamentally cooperating with a mental illness. We psychiatrists, I thought, would do better to concentrate on trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia.... we psychiatrists have been distracted from studying the causes and natures of their mental misdirections by preparing them for surgery and for a life in the other sex. We have wasted scientific and technical resources and damaged our professional credibility by collaborating with madness rather than trying to study, cure, and ultimately prevent it."

The opinion and expertise of Dr. McHugh and other like-minded credentialed medical professionals is tremendously important in this story. So far the MSM have only given lip service to the "unusual" circumstances of this story but have failed to do any real serious reporting. They're treating it in tabloid fashion and in so doing advance a lie.

Here's the truth: Men don't have babies. Period.