Conservatives are speaking out about a shocking segment Fox News aired Friday about a biological girl who “transitioned” to a boy with the help of her parents, as part of the network’s “America Together: LGBTQ+ Pride Month” series.
Ryland Whittington was socially transitioned as a boy at just age five by her parents, the report highlighted. Reporter Bryan Llenas heaped praise on Ryland for having the “extraordinary courage” to share the story, “particularly at a time when trans gender issues have been politicized.”
Most notably, Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro and podcast host and author Matt Walsh — both of whom are sometimes guests on Fox News — made lengthy comments condemning the segment, which seemed woke even by MSNBC or CNN standards.
Shapiro bluntly called the report “absolute, horrifying propaganda,” condemning the actions of Ryland’s parents as “child abuse.”
Walsh encouraged other conservatives to “call this evil lunacy out wherever we see it. Especially on our own side.”
“I have appeared on Fox News many times,” he noted. “I appreciate the platform they’ve given me. If what I’m about to say ruins that relationship, so be it.”
(Thread) I have appeared on Fox News many times. I appreciate the platform they’ve given me. If what I’m about to say ruins that relationship, so be it. We have to call this evil lunacy out wherever we see it. Especially on our own side.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 10, 2022
Allie Beth Stuckey, a conservative podcast host and author, said she was “stunned” over the “maddening & heartbreaking” segment.
Stuckey, too, has been a repeat guest on Fox News.
“I’m stunned that Fox News ran a segment celebrating a girl whose parents ‘transitioned’ her into a boy when she was 5 because she apparently told them she was a boy ‘before [she] could talk,’” she posted to Twitter. “Absolutely maddening & heartbreaking.”
“Perhaps they should watch [Matt Walsh]’s doc, read Abigail Shrier’s book, and read the many reports by [Women Read Women] about the unspeakable harm and predation involved in ‘transitioning’ children,” Stuckey continued. “It doesn’t get more wicked.”
The author added that the segment was on “a whole other level” than any socially liberal lean Fox News might have. “It’s as extreme and depraved as it gets.”
In a video posted to her Instagram, Stuckey further railed against the report.
“Let’s talk about how Fox News is promoting the most radical form of gender ideology that exists,” she told her followers, before playing part of the segment. “I mean what can I even say, that is truly heartbreaking.”
Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing at conservative magazine National Review, railed against Fox News in a piece, titled “The Transgender Contagion Includes Fox News.”
“Given that Caitlyn Jenner is a commentator on Fox News, it is not really a shock that the network would run transgender propaganda to the detriment of the family,” Lopez wrote.
Conservative outlets reported that the shocking segment caught conservatives off guard. Town Hall wrote that it “left conservatives stunned.” The Blaze cited criticism from the Right, noting that “social conservatives reacted poorly” to the segment.
As of Saturday evening, no major Fox News hosts or contributors had spoken out publicly against the segment, although Lisa Boothe, who is often a guest or fill-in host on the channel, did retweet a post from academic Dr. Debra Soh commenting on “transgender” children.
“I really feel for every parent taken in by the ‘Would you rather have a dead child or happy transgender child?’ narrative,” Soh said.
Notably, Ryland’s mother said in the Fox segment that she “would rather have a living son than a dead daughter.”
“The most brazen thing about [Fox News] deciding to push the transgender propaganda is they didn’t do it back when the mom said the baby was trans, or when the baby was a toddler. They waited until the kid was older to try to normalize it for its viewers,” conservative host and columnist Erick Erickson said of the network. “It’s propaganda Fox pushed.”
The most brazen thing about @FoxNews deciding to push the transgender propaganda is they didn’t do it back when the mom said the baby was trans, or when the baby was a toddler. They waited until the kid was older to try to normalize it for its viewers. It’s propaganda Fox pushed.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 11, 2022
Erickson added, “Fox News promoting trans propaganda is something to behold. That’s gonna hurt the network more than calling Arizona for Biden.”
Fox News promoting trans propaganda is something to behold. That’s gonna hurt the network more than calling Arizona for Biden.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 10, 2022
Conservative Jack Posobiec retweeted fierce criticisms of the segment from Shapiro and Stuckey.
Conservative host Jason Whitlock, a former ESPN columnist, commented on Walsh’s thread, “Matt, ‘conservatives’ and/or ‘Republicans’ are of no use in a spiritual war. Politics, politicians, and political people bend to political winds. It’s just a grab for power.”
“Stannis Baratheon burned his daughter at a stake for power,” he said, referring to HBO show “Game of Thrones.” “Transitioning your child is nothing.”
Matt, “conservatives” and/or “Republicans” are of no use in a spiritual war. Politics, politicians, and political people bend to political winds. It’s just a grab for power. Stannis Baratheon burned his daughter at a stake for power. Transitioning your child is nothing. #GoT https://t.co/wgsj3UL9m3
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) June 11, 2022
Daily Wire podcast host and author Michael Knowles commented, “Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer when my conservative news outlets don’t encourage parents to trans their little children.”
Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer when my conservative news outlets don’t encourage parents to trans their little children. pic.twitter.com/1U84xx3ww3
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) June 10, 2022
“Fox has become [Caitlyn] Jenner’s press agent, so this is sadly its next logical descent into the mouth of madness,” The Blaze’s Steve Deace wrote.
Fox has become Jenner’s press agent, so this is sadly its next logical descent into the mouth of madness. https://t.co/NwxzDOLQMX
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) June 10, 2022
“FOX has gone,” said Dr. Sebastian Gorka, a former Fox News contributor.
FOX has gone. https://t.co/GeNSQLrAuq
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) June 10, 2022
The Federalist covered the segment by highlighting backlash: “Outraged Viewers Bombard Fox News For Segment Promoting Child Gender Experiments.”
“The segment comes at a time when the Republican base is eager to combat trans ideology, with politicians in states like Florida and Texas fighting back, and once-rising stars like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem tanked for not fighting hard enough,” Jordan Boyd noted.
The Daily Caller covered the shocking report, too, with the headline, “Fox News Promotes Family Who Transitioned 5-Year-Old Child.”
Within the piece, the Caller highlighted troubling information about child so-called “transitions”:
Doctors have prescribed puberty blockers to children suffering from gender dysphoria, which has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nor is there enough research to conclude the long term negative effects of injecting hormones into children to pause puberty, PBS reported. Testosterone and estrogen, which are blocked by the medications, contribute to a child’s neurological and bone development.
A March 2021 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence comprehensive review found no evidence that hormone and puberty blockers are helpful. Stanford University published a study in January 2022 funded by pharmaceutical giants Arbor and Pfizer who produce those treatments.
Despite the backlash, Fox News has kept the report on its website.