News and Commentary

The Morning Wire: A Transgender Legal Battle, Elon Musk’s Latest Creation, And Disney Gets Sued
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 07: Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, and chairman of SolarCity, attends the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 7, 2015 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Many of the worlds wealthiest and most powerful business people from media, finance, and technology attend the annual week-long conference which is in its 33nd year.
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It’s Saturday, August 7th, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast here.

1) EXCLUSIVE: Legal Battle Over Treatment Of ‘Transgender’ Child 

The Topline: The Daily Wire interviewed a father who is planning to sue a pediatric gender clinic in Minnesota after it declared his 9-year-old autistic son a “transgender lesbian.”

Some Background: According to medical records that Brenton Netz — the father in the case — provided to The Daily Wire, the clinic’s gender therapist diagnosed Netz’s autistic son with gender dysphoria in 2018. 

Within months, the therapist was already discussing reversible and irreversible treatments after claiming the boy identified as a “transgender lesbian.” 

Netz says the boy’s mother was taking him to the gender clinic without his consent and he only discovered the treatment because his name was attached to his son’s medical records. 

Legal Fallout

Netz’s attorney told The Daily Wire it will be challenging to assemble a case against the clinic that proves damages.However, he said that if they succeed, it could set a precedent regarding this largely unregulated industry, especially in the case when two parents disagree on treatment options for a child.

The Daily Wire reached out to CentraCare, but they declined to comment unless Netz’s name was disclosed and more information was provided regarding the article.

Via Getty Images

Redefinition Of Abuse

The Daily Wire uncovered a presentation the therapist in the case conducted in 2016, which said abuse involves “invalidating one’s masculine or feminine identity, invalidating or denial of access to one’s preferred sources of affection, invalidating or denial of access to one’s preferred sexual preference, etc.”

The presentation also seemed to target religious parents when it defined spiritual abuse as “experiences that distort, retard, or otherwise interfere with spiritual development,” such as “when a caregiver replaces a child’s higher power,” or “when caregivers are addicted to religion.”

2) Disney Gets Sued

The Topline: “Black Widow” actress Scarlett Johansson made waves in Hollywood last week when she filed a lawsuit against Marvel’s parent company, Disney. 

Why It Matters: The case could have major implications for how movie studios approach streaming versus theatrical releases.

Johansson Vs. Disney

Johansson’s “Black Widow” contract stipulated that a percentage of her compensation would be based on the movie’s box office earnings — which were relatively low due to the studio’s decision to release the movie in theaters and on their streaming platform. 

Johansson contends Marvel executives promised her that the film would only be rolled out in theaters — and she has emails to prove her claims. 

Hollywood Exteriors And Landmarks - 2021 HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 22: View of a billboard above the El Capitan Entertainment Centre promoting Marvel Studios' 'Black Widow' on June 22, 2021 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images) AaronP/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor via Getty Images

Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
AaronP/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor via Getty Images

Disney Goes Nuclear

In response, Disney revealed that Johansson’s base salary was $20 million and issued a statement that not only denied Johansson’s claim, but accused her of being selfish. They said Johansson’s “lawsuit is sad and distressing” and noted the film’s release on streaming platforms was among the “effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Prominent feminist groups in Hollywood started speaking up on Johansson’s behalf, calling Disney’s statement a “gendered attack.” 

Inside sources say that actors and directors are behind Johansson. They don’t like the hybrid film release model and also don’t like seeing one of their own treated this way by the executive suite.

More Lawsuits On The Way

Emma Stone apparently had a similar deal for “Cruella,” as did Emily Blunt for “Jungle Cruise.” Now, credible sources say that Stone is considering suing Disney, as well. 

3) Musk’s New ‘Neuralink’

The Topline: Neuralink — a tech company founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk — announced that it will begin developing brain implants for humans.

Quote Of The Day: “I’m really excited to show you what we’ve got. I think it’s going to blow your mind.”  -Elon Musk

Scott Olson/Getty Images











So What Would This Brain Implant Do?

According to Musk, the implants would give humans the ability to control computer interfaces with their minds instead of with a keyboard and mouse.

In August 2020, Elon Musk first demonstrated the successful use of the technology on pigs.

Nueralink just raised $205 million in venture capital to fund the “N1 Link,” which will be the company’s first human product and will look to help those who are paralyzed access the digital world without using their hands.

How It Works 

According to the company, they use “micron-scale threads,” which are so small they can only be implanted in the brain using robotic surgery. These threads contain electrodes which are then connected to an implant.

Remember: They haven’t tried this with humans, but they successfully demonstrated the technology with a macaque monkey who played a game of “MindPong.” 

Without any physical controller, the monkey played the video game “Pong” by visualizing the motions of the paddle, and the device carried out the moves on the game itself.

What Next?

Neuralink has said they want to produce a line of products which will allow people “to communicate more easily via text or speech synthesis, to follow their curiosity on the web, or to express their creativity through photography, art, or writing apps.”

What’s Happening At The Olympics?

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are coming to an end in what has been a successful Olympiad for the American teams. On Friday, track and field star Allyson Felix became the most decorated female in the sport, taking home bronze in the 400-meters. It is Felix’s 10th Olympic medal, breaking a tie with Merlene Ottey of Jamaica and tying her with Carl Lewis for the most Olympic medals by any track and field athlete.

In International Olympic news, two Belarusian team Olympic coaches have been stripped of their credentials and asked to leave the Olympic village by the International Olympic Committee. 

The news comes after Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was forcibly taken to a Tokyo airport after being removed from the Belarus team for criticizing her coaches. After posting a video stating she was being taken against her will, Tsimanouskaya was protected by Japanese authorities and is now in Warsaw after being granted a humanitarian visa by Poland.

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