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The Daily Wire podcast host Michael Knowles said that he expected the media to come after him for his comments about transgender ideology, but accusations of genocide took him by surprise.
Knowles joined Fox News host Tucker Carlson for his Monday evening broadcast to discuss the comments he made at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) — along with the media’s quick and virulent response.
"They just put words into my mouth that I never said…The libel laws in the United States have quite a high threshold to actually sue. This meets that threshold." pic.twitter.com/HCMKEt0voK
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) March 7, 2023
“The dumber the lie, the more viciously obedience to that lie must be enforced. So now all of a sudden you are expected to believe that anyone, even children can change their biological sex at will,” Carlson began.
He then shared a clip of Knowles speaking at CPAC, saying that the approach to transgenderism had to be “all or nothing” — it was either true or it wasn’t, and he was certain that it wasn’t.
If transgenderism is true — if men really can become women and women really can become men — then it is true for everybody of all ages. If transgenderism is false, as it is — if men really can’t become women, as they cannot — then it’s false for everybody too. And if it’s false, then we should not indulge it, especially since that indulgence requires taking away the rights and customs of so many people. If it is false, then for the good of society and especially for the good of the poor people who have fallen prey to this confusion, “transgenderism” must be eradicated from public life entirely — the whole preposterous ideology, at every level.
But shortly after Knowles spoke, critics began to accuse him of wanting transgender people to die and promoting genocide — when what he actually said was that the ideology that promotes transgenderism as a real thing was what had to be eradicated.
“Were you surprised that The Daily Beast, really the filthiest organ in American ‘journalism,’ accused you of pushing genocide?” Carlson asked, turning to Knowles.
“I have been called all sorts of nasty things by the liberal press, Tucker, so I tend to expect everything,” Knowles began, conceding, “But I have to admit being accused of genocide did take me by surprise. That seemed extreme even for the fake news media.”
“I think it surprised a lot of lawyers as well,” Knowles continued, noting that a number of outlets ran with the accusation in bold-type headlines.
“You heard exactly what I said. I said that for the good of these people in particular — so presumably I don’t want to murder them,” he said. “I talked about an ideology in particular. I’m not talking about eradicating any human beings. I’m talking about an ideology here. They said I wanted to commit genocide. I said this is libel, this is actionable libel. The libel laws in the United States have quite a high threshold to actually sue. This meets that threshold.”
Knowles went on to say that as the day went on and headlines began to change, he got the impression that some of the outlets had received calls from their lawyers advising them to make changes or risk getting sued.