MSM Apologizes for 'Misgendering' Transgender School Shooter

AP Photo/John Amis

There was some confusion on Monday regarding the identity of the shooter who killed six people, including three children, at a private Christian school near Nashville, Tenn. Local officials identified the shooter as 28-year-old Audrey Elizabeth Hale.

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Nashville Police Chief John Drake identified her during a press conference as “a 28-year-old female that lived in the Nashville area,” and later confirmed that Hale “does identify as transgender, yes.”

Drake also confirmed that Hale was a former student at the school and that she had a manifesto.

Since early reports consistently referred to Hale using feminine pronouns before her transgender identity was confirmed, mainstream media outlets, which strive to use a person’s “preferred pronouns” in reporting, were unsure if Hale was a biological female who identified as a male or a biological male who identified as a female. Once the confusion was cleared up, and they realized they’d been using the “wrong pronouns,” some outlets felt compelled to post corrections/apologies.

“There was confusion later on Monday about the gender identity of the assailant in the Nashville shooting,” the New York Times tweeted. “Officials had used ‘she’ and ‘her’ to refer to the suspect, who, according to a social media post and a LinkedIn profile, appeared to identify as a man in recent months.”

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The New York Times was not alone.

“Police on Monday afternoon said that the shooter was a transgender man,” USA Today tweeted. “Officials had initially misidentified the gender of the shooter.”

Following confirmation from authorities that Hale was transgender, CNN removed all references to the suspect being a woman from its initial reports and updated its story with a paragraph blaming Nashville police for misgendering Hale.

“Police have referred to Hale as the ‘female shooter’ and at an evening press conference added that Hale was transgender. When asked for clarification, a spokesperson told CNN Hale used ‘male pronouns’ on a social media profile.”

Think about this for a minute, Audrey Hale just murdered six people, including three children, and the media’s big concern is to absolve themselves of responsibility for “misgendering” Hale by blaming local officials for identifying Hale (correctly) as a female.

Reports indicate that Hale had multiple targets intended for her attack before she was shot and killed by police.

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This is hardly the first time the media has kowtowed to criminals this way. Last year, when actor Ezra Miller was accused of child trafficking and sexual abuse of a minor, the media similarly went to great lengths to avoid “misgendering” him because he identifies as “non-binary.” Variety magazine even altered a victim’s testimony to replace male pronouns with gender-neutral language.

It is extremely disconcerting to see the media placate the transgender community by prioritizing the avoidance of “misgendering” criminals. This misplaced emphasis is particularly troubling, given this latest tragedy that resulted in the loss of six innocent lives.

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