CNN reported as fact on Tuesday that a baby’s sex cannot be definitely determined at birth.
The reporting: “It’s not possible to know a person’s gender identity at birth, and there is no consensus criteria for assigning sex at birth,” reads a paragraph midway through CNN’s straight news a write-up of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s partial ban of transgender girls from female school sports.
Conservative Twitter commentators, like Ben Shapiro, called out CNN for once again failing to live up to its “Fact First” slogan.
So did a few dissent leftists, like Jesse Singal, a mainstream journalist whose fact-based reporting on transgender issues has made him the frequent target of calumnies from his colleagues.
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment about its reporting standards, and the language about gender remained online uncorrected.
The media bubble: The news media is increasingly moving away from recognizing biological sex in deference to how individuals identify their own gender.
- The shift comes as some activists and academics have challenged the very existence of a male-female binary, pointing to intersexuality and transgenderism as proof that sex is a spectrum.
- But the vast majority of babies continue to be unproblematically identified at birth as either male or female based on whether they have a penis or a vagina.
Meanwhile, more than two dozens states are considering legislation to prohibit transgender athletes from participating in sports based on declared gender identity.
- A recent Politico/Morning consult poll found 53% of registered voters support such bans, including 74% of Republicans.