Care is needed

BBC finally gets a clue.

BBC presenters have been told to challenge guests who accuse others of transphobia after the broadcaster admitted that news items on J.K. Rowling fell short of its editorial standards. In an internal briefing note, BBC journalists and production teams were advised that “care is needed” when people are labeled “transphobic” and the term should be interrogated during on-air debate. The advice featured in a nine-page document on “reporting sex and gender” circulated to the BBC newsroom late last year.

Better yet they could just stop using the word at all. The whole point of it is to convince everyone that it’s both evil and irrational to be aware that men are not women. That’s a ludicrous place to start from. It’s not a phobia to know that men like India Willoughby and Frieda Wallace are not women and are in fact virulently misogynist. The raging phobes in this conflict are generally not on Team Women.

But it’s a start, anyway.

The guidance follows the BBC apologizing to Rowling twice last year. The Harry Potter author was accused of transphobia by trans rights advocates, but the claim was not properly challenged by presenters, including Radio 4’s Evan Davis.

Meaning he simply repeated it, yeah? Thanks, bro.

It added that “careful and accurate use of language” is important and thought should be given to terms that some audience members may find problematic. “Some of the terms used, for example ‘cis-gender’ to identify a person who has the same sex and gender identity, are not familiar to many of our audience and may be considered offensive by some,” the briefing said.

They damn well are considered extremely offensive by many. Having sneering men in lipstick shout at us for our “cis” privilege is more than annoying, yes.

Davie gave evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee this week amid concern over a BBC complaint unit ruling against Radio 4 Today show presenter Justin Webb last month. Webb was deemed to have broken editorial rules when he said “trans women, in other words males” during an item discussing whether biological males have an advantage in chess.

Davie said BBC journalists are “doing a very good job” in difficult circumstances, but argued that Webb was guilty of “foot fault” in his language during the August 2023 broadcast. Davie downplayed a report in The Daily Telegraph this week, which claimed that BBC employees had written to him “in their droves to express dismay” at the way Webb had been treated.

What, just because the BBC is punishing its journalists for mentioning that men are not women? Picky picky, right?

Come on Beeb. Maintain a grip on the truth and on the balance of power between men and women.

H/t What a Maroon

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