Fox News condemned by the Dictionary after calling politician ‘that transgender’
Fox News is under fire after referring to history-making transgender politician Christine Hallquist as “that transgender.”
Hallquist this week won the Democratic nomination in the race to become the Governor of Vermont, marking the first time a major party has chosen a transgender candidate in a gubernatorial race.
However her landslide victory over three opponents in the Democratic primary was reduced to a gag on Fox News.
The news channel’s Fox & Friends show incorrectly inferred that the race was a two-way battle between Hallquist and a 14-year-old novelty candidate, who actually came fourth with 6 percent of a vote.
During a primaries roundup, Griff Jenkins had said: “In Vermont it was all about Bernie Sanders, and they nominated the first transgender candidate for Governor.”
Ainsley Earhardt added: “That transgender beat a 14 year old! They didn’t have an age limit, so the 14 year old said, I’m going to run! Ran in the primary, didn’t win.”
“that transgender” pic.twitter.com/1l8FPOE2s4
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) August 15, 2018
The conservative anchor referring to Hallquist as “that transgender” led to anger online, with Democrats accusing Fox of “dehumanising” her and trying to turn her victory into a joke.
Chelsea Clinton tweeted Fox News: “Her name is Christine Hallquist.”
Hallquist responded with her own dig at Fox, writing: “Thanks @ChelseaClinton – we’re so excited by the letters of support we’re receiving from across the country everyday! Together, we’ll realign America’s moral compass.
“Christine. Pronouns: she, her, hers.”
Fox News was also condemned by the dictionary.
Dictionary.com wrote: “Transgender is an adjective, not a noun.”
It shared the definition of transgender, that states: “1. Noting or relating to a person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person’s biological sex assigned at birth.
“2. Noting or relating to a person who does not conform to societal gender norms or roles.”
Earhardt has attempted to apologise for her comments.
She told The Wrap: “I was responding to the reporter’s comments when I moved too quickly and couldn’t recall Christine Hallquist’s name.
“As a person of faith, I sincerely promise I never ever meant anything derogatory and I am sorry it may have come off that way.”
Although Hallquist’s primary victory is a historic first, her gender identity was barely a factor in her campaign, which focused largely on local issues.
She has the backing of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in November.
Accepting the nomination, she said: “I must say I’m incredibly honoured, incredibly honoured to have all your support. Tonight we made history.”
Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said: “The DNC is proud to congratulate Christine Hallquist, Vermont’s Democratic nominee for governor and the country’s first-ever openly transgender nominee for governor, along with all of [the] Democratic nominees in the Green Mountain State.
“Christine’s historic victory is an inspiration to LGBTQ people everywhere, and we are excited to stand behind her and the entire slate of fantastic Democratic nominees in Vermont.
“There’s no doubt that Christine and her fellow nominees will join a strong ticket this November that will fight for our values and serve as dedicated advocates for Vermont’s working families.
“Vermont voters know that Democrats have their backs and share their values, and they’re ready to organize to turn more seats blue this November.”
Annise Parker of the LGBTQ Victory Fund said: “Christine’s victory is a defining moment in the movement for trans equality and is especially remarkable given how few out trans elected officials there are at any level of government.
“Many thought it unthinkable a viable trans gubernatorial candidate like Christine would emerge so soon.
“Yet Vermont voters chose Christine not because of her gender identity, but because she is an open and authentic candidate with a long history of service to the state, and who speaks to the issues most important to voters.”
She added: “Christine’s business experience and progressive vision for Vermont means she’s perfectly-positioned to take on Governor Scott – whose approval numbers continue to plunge because of his inability to manage the state government and his failed attempts to hide his conservative policy positions.
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“When voters head to the polls this November, we are confident Vermonters will make her the first openly trans governor in the nation and just the second openly LGBTQ person elected governor in American history.
“Christine often attributes Vermonters’ accepting her gender identity to the hard work and bravery of LGBTQ pioneers who came before her – those at Stonewall, the Harvey Milks, and other courageous activists.
“Now, Christine is a pioneer deserving of that appreciation. Her authenticity, poise and presence on the campaign trail will undoubtedly inspire more trans people to pursue their dreams of a career in elected office, and that will inevitably change America and the world.”
The gubernatorial election will take place on November 6, 2018.