Bradley Manning has let it be known that he wants to be now known as a ‘she’ and she wants to be referred to as ‘Chelsea.’ I’ve debated how to respond to her recent revelation. I am going to withhold my opinion until a time in which I can respectfully express my opinion while considering the true matter of transgenderism. I’m not in a place to say whether Chelsea Manning is transgender. I’m not in a place to deny her what she truly believes she feels. Regardless of whether I think she’s guilty or innocent, a heroine, or a treasonist, I’m not in her head. Who you are as an individual is inside of you.
I remember learning the golden rule as a child. I’ve carried the golden rule into adulthood, and I still carry that rule as my own mantra. You treat others as you want to be treated. You can treat me as the worst person on this Earth, but I will treat you with the utmost respect, because that’s how I want to be treated. I hold Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” to heart. The only difference is I will replace ‘the color of their skin’ with, “what makes you different from me.” Being transgender doesn’t define Chelsea Manning’s character. What defines her character is what she did.
In a world when we need to find resolutions to bullying, in a world when we need to let people know bullying isn’t “cool,” we have FOX News. I don’t like to harp on FOX News, because being gay already comes with the stigma of being a liberal, and automatically dismissing that channel. People will say I’m being harsh towards FOX News, because I’m gay. For those that think that, I invite you to follow me as I talk about what I feel about Chelsea Manning’s transition, and what I have to say about the midterm elections and the elections of 2016. I’ll defy your expectations. I’m not cutting FOX News down simply because I’m gay. I’m being critical about FOX News, because they’re promoting bullying. They can think whatever they want about homosexuality and transgenderism. I might have a problem with what they think, and I might call them on it. This isn’t a matter of what they think, but a matter of their bullying. In a recent advertisement for their next segment after a commercial break, FOX and Friends made a blunder. They chose to play Aerosmith’s “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” while showing a picture of Pfc. Bradley Manning on the left and an unflattering photo of Chelsea Manning on the right.
Their choice of music doesn’t just demean Chelsea Manning, but it denigrates those that identify as transgender. Instead of choosing to talk about a story in which they likely disagreed with, they chose to make fun of those that identify as transgender. As the voice of the conservative movement, they should be ashamed of themselves. FOX News is promoting bullying when they should be an upstanding news agency discussing the news.
It is by no means a secret that the “Fair and Balanced” network of FOX News is only fair and balanced towards the Republican party and that MSNBC’s motto of “Lean Forward” should read more like “Lean Left.” Both networks are the cheerleading branch of their respective parties and they aren’t exactly known for being unbiased. Last Friday, the Republican National Committee (RNC) headed by Reince Priebus unanimously voted to stop NBC News and CNN from hosting any presidential debates in 2016.
For those that are unaware, Reince Priebus went on a media blitz over the last few weeks to let it be known that the RNC would be voting to admonish CNN and NBC News for their planned documentaries portraying the political life of former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. While I understand the Republican Party’s discomfort towards two media outlets discussing the life of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the current presumptive nominee for the 2016 democratic presidential nominee, I cannot ignore the measures the Republican Party has taken to silence those supporting these documentaries.
The party’s unanimous vote to ban CNN and NBC News from hosting Republican presidential debates in 2016 isn’t a matter of saying, “We don’t support CNN and NBC Entertainment broadcasting these pieces.” It boils down to the fact that the Republican Party is pressuring two organizations into dismantling their proposed documentaries. I want to emphasize that these proposed programs have not had scripts put together yet, NBC News and NBC Entertainment are two different entities, and the RNC has no idea how the documentaries would portray Clinton. People can argue the documentaries would be biased towards Hillary Rodham Clinton, but at this early stage it’s not known how she would be portrayed. If CNN and NBC Entertainment cave to Reince Priebus’s call to disband these proposed documentaries, they are empowering both major political parties to begin controlling what television networks write and produce. I’m not some crazy conspiracy theorist that thinks this call for a boycott of CNN and NBC News is going to create censorship, I’m simply saying it will empower political parties to take steps to pressure others to only say party endorsed views.
Do you know the saying, “Call a spade a spade?” Well, I staunchly believe in that saying. Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee are hypocrites. While Priebus was on his media blitz drumming up support for this proposed CNN and NBC News boycott, he completely ignored the fact that FOX was planning to produce the NBC Entertainment’s miniseries. Not once did Preibus put pressure on FOX to discontinue their support for the miniseries. Why was it OK for FOX to be involved, but not CNN and NBC? It must be because FOX News portrays the Republican Party in the way Priebus and his cronies want them to be. FOX recently announced they are discontinuing their production of the proposed miniseries. This announcement came after it surfaced that FOX was helping in the productions.
I understand the RNC’s worry and anger over these proposed documentaries. If I was a member of the RNC, I would be speaking out against the CNN documentary and NBC Entertainment miniseries, but I would not be taking votes to silence two news agencies. I don’t believe in censorship in most circumstances. If the Republican Party wants to rebrand themselves as being in touch with the general American public, they must accept dissenting opinions and counter those opinions with their own opinions and their own facts. They cannot shut it down. Their recent vote will only show how they are out of touch with the American public. If they continue down this path, it won’t bode well for them in 2014 or 2016. The Republican Party must accept dissenting opinions.