The September 9 edition of People magazine included an article on Bradley Manning headlined “The Secret After the Sentence: Found guilty of espionage, the discharged Army private reveals she is transgendered and will go to military prison as ‘Chelsea’.”
Reporter Johnny Dodd aggressively used female pronouns even inserting one in a quote from Manning's defense lawyer: “What drove [her] actions was a strong moral compass.”
While honoring Bradley Manning's wish to be identified as a woman and called "Chelsea," Time magazine writer James Poniewozik wants to know exactly when did Bradley become Chelsea, posing various grammatical issues raised by journalists accepting Manning's self-delusion about his gender.
"Since she’s a longtime figure in the news, in a case involving her actions years previous, how do you refer to her history? Did Bradley leak information to Wikileaks, or did Chelsea? (Or Breanna?) Did she serve in Iraq or did he?" Poniewozik wondered in an August 18 Tune In Time.com blog post, adding, "The answer goes to the question, still fuzzily defined, of what philosophy and definitions we’re using when referring to the growing number of transgender persons":
*Corrected from earlier | "Starting tomorrow, The New York Times and The Associated Press will refer to Bradley Manning as Chelsea Manning, 'formerly know as Pfc. Bradley Manning,' honoring the former soldier's request to be addressed as a female," Politico media reporter Dylan Byers noted yesterday* afternoon. Not only will AP and the Times refer to Manning with female pronouns, but in an email, an AP editor insisted that Manning "will henceforth use Pvt. Chelsea E. Manning... in accordance with her wishes to live as a woman."
For his part, however, Byers (and presumably the rest of Politico), is sticking with "he" when describing Manning:
It looks as if MSNBC has kowtowed to Bradley Manning’s request to be referred to as a woman. On Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, fill-in host Mara Schiavocampo tried to honor Manning’s bizarre request, but kept slipping up and referring to Manning as “he.”
In a teaser before the segment, Schiavocampo declared, “Bradley Manning is now Chelsea Manning. But is Leavenworth prison legally obligated to grant the soldier gender re-assignment therapy? And is she in any danger in a men's prison?”
In an exclusive interview with Bradley Manning's attorney David Coombs on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie read a "bombshell announcement" from the convicted military leaker: "I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female." After referring to Manning as "he" throughout the segment, Guthrie immediately switched pronouns: "Why did she choose this moment to announce this?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie then fretted: "She wants hormone therapy. Fort Leavenworth does not provide that. Are you going to sue to try to force the government to give her hormone therapy, and perhaps a sex-reassignment surgery?" Coombs replied: "...as far as the hormone therapy, yes. I'm hoping Fort Leavenworth would do the right thing and provide that. If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that they are forced to do so."
We at NewsBusters have repeatedly raked Reuters over the coals for years now on various issues -- particularly their steadfast refusal in numerous stories to call terrorists "terrorists." But today a kudos is in order as the news wire -- in reporting Private Bradley Manning's desire to undergo hormone therapy to take on the persona of a woman named Chelsea -- refuses to call Manning a "she," something that Time magazine and NBC's Savannah Guthrie, among other journalists, are doing.
In Susan Heavey and Ian Simpson's 24-paragraph story this afternoon, the only times Manning was described as a "she" was when his lawyer was directly quoted [article accessed via ChicagoTribune.com]:
So what if he disclosed information that potentially threatened American lives and security interests? Manning's a "frail guy who doesn't look threatening to anyone." So you have to question the length of his sentence.
Such was the bizarre logic that Chris Matthews—guest hosting for Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC today—employed as he bemoaned Bradley Mannings' sentence--which could in practice see him freed in less than 10 years. Matthews was also moved by the fact that in military prison, Manning will be surrounded by people "who won't like him." View the video after the jump.
Bradley Manning must be terribly lonely. After all, how many gay men have made news the last few years without being celebrated in the media for their gayness? And a gay man who also “struggles with issues of gender identity” can pretty much write his own contract with MSNBC.
But the media, and the broadcast networks especially, are oddly reticent about the sexual orientation and confusion of Manning, the army private convicted of the most extensive military intelligence security breach in U.S. history.
With the start of the Bradley Manning court martial, a number of famous and not-so famous Hollywood liberals have released a video in support of their hero.
It includes the likes of Oliver Stone, Russell Brand, Peter Sarsgaard, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Moby, Tom Morello, Wallace Shawn, and the perilously liberal so-called journalists Matt Taibbi, Phil Donahue, and Chris Hedges (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
He may have committed the largest and most reckless leak of national-security information in America’s history, but Bradley Manning had a happy Monday at National Progressive Radio. NPR’s Morning Edition ran a story by reporter Carrie Johnson that contained absolutely no one who could see Manning in a critical light.
Johnson began: “In the three years since his arrest, the slight Army private with close-cropped blond hair and thick military glasses has become less of a character than a cause.” It’s a cause NPR believes in.
Multimillionaire Occupy Wall Street supporter Michael Moore told protesters in San Francisco last month that the movement has its roots in Army Private Bradley Manning passing top secret classified information to Wikileaks.
So enthusiastic was the crowd on hand that they voted to rename the area they were occupying Bradley Manning Plaza (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It must be what's known in the military as "mission creep." Why else would an organization of professional librarians come out in support of the soldier alleged to be responsible for the largest security breach in U.S. military history?
When it meets for its annual conference in New Orleans June 23, the American Library Association will vote on a resolution calling on the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff to "release Pfc. Bradley Manning from pre-trial confinement and drop the charges against him." (Documents are available here.)