When will cable news grow up? Plus: AP examines Trumpiest hopefuls. And, Demi Lovato are here.
By Gary Abernathy
When will we insist that cable news grow up?
Hopefully, the time is coming soon when enough Americans grow weary of the manufactured drama of cable news that they demand that everyone grow up and act like adults.
Once again, combative Fox News pundits Geraldo Rivera and Dan Bongino were booked to appear together on Sean Hannity’s show to talk about a hot button issue… Hours after Rivera defended Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)—a top Fox News bogeywoman—and said the United States was “complicit” in Israel’s “ongoing crime against humanity,” he argued with Hannity and Bongino over the escalating violence in Gaza and the soaring number of dead Palestinians, including dozens of children. Eventually, Bongino said Rivera’s opinion was “garbage,” prompting the inevitable fireworks between the two. “Stop attacking me, punk! Address the issue,” Rivera yelled before throwing a wad of paper at the screen. “I’m sick of you, Bongino. You’re a punk!” After Bongino retorted that Rivera was an “out-of-control lunatic,” the 77-year-old correspondent declared that he had “10 Emmys” before briefly turning his back to the camera.
This was undoubtedly gripping television, and parents would have been wise to wake any young children who had already gone to bed to come and witness it, with the admonition, “Never act this way. Now go back to bed.”
What passes for primetime political news and commentary has become embarrassing. What possible enlightenment came from this childish, petulant display from Rivera, age 77, and Bongino, age 46? (Point being they’re both old enough to know how to behave.)
Not only are we politically polarized with left versus right, Republican versus Democrat, we’re polarized to the point that two Fox News Trump supporters are staging a food fight.
I wasn’t watching, happy to say. But as long as people do, it won’t change. We’ll only get better when we demand it.
Which Ohio GOP Senate candidate is Trumpiest?
A new Associated Press story examines the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Rob Portman, who announced a while back he would not be running for reelection in 2022.
The focus of the story is how the GOP hopefuls are aggressively vying for the blessing and endorsement of former President Donald Trump.
The story is by AP reporters Julie Carr Smyth and Dan Sewell, and Dan asked me to be part of it, and I said yes, which sometimes gets me in trouble. You can find it here.
Demi Lovato are here. That’s probably correct.
Listen, over the years, when it comes to what people decide they are or are not, I’ve adopted, by and large, a live-and-let-live attitude. So, pop star Demi Lovato has announced that – and this is where it gets interesting – Demi Levato has announced that they are nonbinary.
That’s not a typo, or a misuse of the pronoun “they,” according to today’s world. That’s how we’re supposed to refer to nonbinary people, not as “he” or “she,” but as “they.” And many media organizations across the country are immediately buying into it and adopting that style.
I used to think that the only time we could refer to a singular individual as “they” was when the Enterprise transporter malfunctioned and turned Captain Kirk into two people. I was wrong. We can refer to singular individuals as “they” because – well, I’m not an expert, so let me turn this over to an expert.
Mary Emily O’Hara, GLAAD Rapid Response manager, writing for NBC News, explains it as follows:
"Nonbinary" is a term increasingly used by people who exist somewhere along the spectrum of gender, either between male and female or outside the binary altogether. Essentially, it's shorthand for a complex, liminal, both/and relationship to gender that varies widely from person to person. Nonbinary is both a gender identity and a big middle finger aimed at the concept of gender itself. As a fairly feminine-presenting nonbinary person, I'm familiar with the kind of misgendering and mockery aimed at Lovato this week. I get called "she" every day — and I admit that I often let it slide or gently remind people that my pronouns are they/them, because I don't have the time or energy to explain the intricate inner workings of my gender identity.
I have no interest in mocking anyone. But our rules of English as they pertain to personal pronouns are rather logical. “He” or “she” refers to individuals, while “they” refers to more than one individual. If they – and here I mean multiple people – want to come up with a new word describing someone who is neither “he” nor “she,” have at it (more on that below). But we already have the word “they” and it means more than one.
As an example of how confusing this sounds when used as some want us to use it, let’s look at this example from TIME magazine, quoting Lovato:
“I feel that this best represents the fluidity I feel in my gender expression and allows me to feel most authentic and true to the person I both know I am and am still discovering,” said Lovato in a video clip posted to their Twitter. “Today is a day I’m so happy to share more of my life with you all,” they wrote. “I’m doing this for those out there that haven’t been able to share who they truly are with their loved ones. Please keep living in your truths & know I am sending so much love your way.”
“They wrote?” Only one person was doing the writing. You see how confusing this will be. Do we need to refer to nonbinary people as though they are plural? When Demi Lovato arrives, do we need to say, “Demi Lovato are here?”
Turns out, people have come up with alternative singular pronouns. There’s this from a website called Safe Zone:
“Hir: (here) A non-gender specific pronoun used instead of “her” and “him.” Sie or Ze: (see or zee) A non-gender specific pronoun used instead of “she” and “he.” Ve: (vee) A non-gender specific pronoun used instead of “she” and “he.”
Also, in my research, I just noticed that more letters have been added to LGBTQ. It is now LGBTQIA+, which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual. I’m guessing the + indicates more to come.
Just doing what I can to keep us all woke. Carry on.
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Your comment on Demi Lovato and the language on this brave new alphabet soup is hardly "live and let live" and reads incredibly mocking. As a regular reader and a conservative father of a non-binary child, I am disappointed. Do your words foster tolerance or curiosity? I have seen stats suggesting that nearly 40% of those identifying as trans attempt suicide. Why? Seems like you may need to do a little more work on the subject. Carry on.