Media Chain Unpublishes GOP Senator’s Anti-Trans Essay

( – Although eight outlets run by Gannett Co. media company published an opinion piece on Saturday, May 11 by Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) about how male athletes who claim to be transgender women should not be competing in female sports, the piece was quietly removed from all their websites sometime before Friday, May 24. Gannett owns USA Today.

Sen. Kennedy’s piece was called “Is transgender inclusion more important than women’s sports?” in which he made the argument that men and women’s physiological differences are large enough that allowing males to participate in female sports puts biological females at significantly higher risk of injury. He also included that women’s privacy is destroyed when biological males are allowed to compete with women, as well as their chances at obtaining scholarships.

Though it is standard within journalism to inform an author when their piece is removed, Sen. Kennedy claims he was not informed of the removal until he received messages from his constituents that the link to the article was broken. When he reached out to the outlets who removed his article, he was told his piece was removed due to “loaded language.”

Michael McCarter, the Vice President of Standards and Ethics of Gannett Media, as well as their Opinion Editor, defended his decision to remove the piece, stating that it did not meet their guidelines of “treat[ing] people with respect.” McCarter also stated that Kennedy was given the chance to revise the language within his piece so it would meet their ethical guidelines, though McCarter did not mention that Kennedy was not immediately informed of the piece’s removal by the media conglomerate. McCarter also stated that one of the goals of USA Today was to publish “diverse opinion pieces,” seemingly unaware of the irony of his statement.

Kennedy pushed back against the media conglomerate’s decision, calling them the “speech police,” suggesting that this pattern of behavior from media outlets is a large part of the reason why Americans lack trust and confidence in the media.

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