The AP's institutionalized betrayal of journalism and the truth

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(CP) The Associated Press is an agent of pernicious deceit, and while that is not entirely new, their latest advice is a smarmy clinic in gaslighting dressed up as objectivity.

As sparkly June rainbows bedazzle everything from top to bottom, reporters on the transgender beat are now formally told to not only use "preferred pronouns" as a matter of courtesy, as has been the case for years, but also "not use the term transgenderism, which frames transgender identity as an ideology," according to the new Transgender Coverage Topical Guide from the AP. It should be noted here that the AP Style Guide is widely considered the gold standard of journalistic rules and decorum in the United States.

Journalists should likewise not use phrases such as "birth gender" or refer to a trans-identified person as having been born a boy or girl, the AP says. Instead, "sex assigned at birth" is the correct phrasing because sex is usually assigned at birth "by parents or attendants, sometimes inaccurately."

What about those publications that dare to examine the risks of chemical puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and trans surgeries on minors? Pay no attention to "opponents of youth transgender medical treatment," the AP cautions, because those outlets routinely cite "widely discredited research."

One wonders what the AP might now say to Sweden, England, France, Finland, and, very recently, Australia, all of which have begun backpedaling to varying degrees, or are implementing restrictions on these interventions after their health authorities and prominent hospitals have conducted scientific literature reviews and revisited the empirical evidence for these experimental practices.

Indeed, with every passing day, the breadth of the ideological capture of professions and institutions is seen more clearly. The worst, in my view, is the press which, in ideal circumstances, should present information to the public in an even-handed, non-partisan manner. But with the latest AP Style Guide's advice, they have further solidified their role as a protective phalanx around what many call the gender industry, which profits handsomely from these medical experiments. Or am I also not allowed to frame this as an "industry" either, AP?

Unsurprisingly, notably missing from the AP's new guide is advice on how to report on detransitioners, whose numbers continue to rise. Such people, many of whom were harmed as minors, are increasingly speaking out about the irreversible damage to their bodies and relational havoc that transgenderism wreaked on their lives. But trans activists insist that such people are extremely rare so they do not warrant any guidance from the AP, we can presume.

Assaulting language like this is so egregious because it inexorably assaults epistemology – how we know what we know. Journalists following the new AP guidelines on this subject do the public a tremendous disservice because it forces readers to think in murky, convoluted categories and function behind an epistemological wall of distortion. It posits that physical reality is not knowable and presents postmodern word salad and fantastical theories as neutral, brute facts.

Yet it appears that because a remnant of writers will not stop asking questions about this "ism" — that we are supposed to believe is a biologically-wired personal identity — the AP is compelled to advise that even the word "transgenderism" is completely off-limits. This shows that the critics of the ideology are over the target. The AP seems to realize that some people have basically said: "OK, fine, we won't even discuss 'trans' people at all, we will just explore what they say and debate the underlying ideas." But as soon as the ideas (the ism) are examined, the utter absurdity of gender identity ideology is exposed and its claims unravel, and thus the only fix, for those setting the rules, is to insist that discussing the ideology is also uncouth journalism.

Upon reading the section of the AP guide that urged avoiding using words that convey biological meaning (like boy or girl) since sex might be inaccurately "assigned," it occurred to me how similar such advice was to the tactics of gender clinicians in medical settings. A detrans man from California told me over three years ago when I interviewed him how his doctors never used biological terms for his anatomy during his appointments. 

The language manipulation was so extensive and deep that he genuinely believed that when the gender clinicians proposed a surgery he thought it would only entail the removal of a piece of his body that produces the testosterone. They never said "testicle" so he was led to think that a tiny bit of tissue, not the entire organ, would be cut out. He agreed to undergo the procedure. A few weeks later they castrated him.

That language manipulation yielded miserable consequences. It was not long before he was consumed with postoperative regret and suicidal ideation. Severe health problems ensued due to hormonal dysregulation and, when he finally attempted to have sexual relations, he wound up ejaculating blood.

I also thought of a father named Bill, who was profiled in the recent indie documentary Dead Name. Upon his cancer-stricken son Sean's declaration that he was trans, Bill was uncertain about the risks of the "gender-affirmative" treatment protocol and began inquiring of the medical professionals advising Sean. Since he wasn't immediately and unquestionably ready to proceed with the medicalization, he recalled how the psychiatrist at the hospital turned around and called him "an unsupportive, abusive father." Aware of how synthetic cross-sex hormones might exacerbate his son's cancer and hasten his demise, the desperate dad stresses in the film: "I was just trying to keep him alive."

But in the trans world, simply asking honest, life-and-death questions and expressing concern, as some determined journalists still try to do in their reporting, is "abusive." Everything, it seems, is furiously inverted.

I've heard some say that the word "gaslighting" is being overused in this culture of constant social chaos. Be that as it may, its dictionary definition is "manipulating someone using psychological methods into questioning their own sanity or powers of reasoning."

Is there a more effective mode of psychological manipulation than causing someone to question their sanity and reasoning powers by telling them, now with the AP's official endorsement, that a boy is a "she" and a girl? That all of a sudden, it turns out, some words mean the opposite of what they have always meant for all of time? That alone is crazy-making. Moreover, reasoning powers do not even exist without a common frame of reference and language with agreed-upon definitions of words.

Domestic abusers that employ these and other similar tactics often explode in rage when they realize that the person on the receiving end of their manipulations is keenly aware of how they are being played. Such abusers cannot stand it when those whom they are trying to deceive and mistreat reply with a calm, resolute "no."

Consider that one small word my response to the latest AP Style Guide.

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