Rantz: Tacoma News Tribune pretends men can get pregnant
The editors at the Tacoma News Tribune (TNT) appear to think men can get pregnant. It’s an embarrassing next chapter for a newspaper that’s struggling to stay afloat. This won’t help.
Staff writer Angelica Relente reported on a new program to treat pregnant women who are drug addicts. But the lengthy feature never once mentions “women” or “woman” or any gendered language. Instead, an editorial decision was made to refer to pregnant women as “pregnant people.” But only women can get pregnant.
The editorial decision by TNT highlights the latest example of the paper leaning into left-wing talking points. And although the paper’s leaders aim to virtue signal their gender wokeness, they inadvertently discredit their own silly claims.
The TNT article is titled, “This Pierce County clinic treats pregnant people with substance use disorders. Here’s how” and it promotes a program at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup to help drug-addicted pregnant women become sober.
Relente’s article never mentions patients being female. Instead, she uses the phrase “pregnant people” ten times. The reporter never explains the word choice, likely because the goal is to normalize efforts to erase women to promote political positions around gender identity.
It’s a position that contradicts its goal.
Activists routinely regurgitate the claim that “trans women are women.” Do they actually believe that fiction? If trans women are women, then why not just say women? Is this more about pretending men can get pregnant so they can claim gender is fluid? Gender isn’t fluid. People can identify how they want, but it doesn’t change reality — or biology.
It’s the trend
It’s unclear if this is a one-off editorial decision or if it’s the result of a new style guide. TNT editor Stephanie Pedersen did not respond to requests for comment. The editorial decision is likely meant to legitimize claims made by fringe gender extremists that gender is a social construct and that any gender can become pregnant. But only women are capable of pregnancy.
If this is a deliberate editorial decision, it’s not happening in a bubble.
The Associated Press updated its style guide offering language journalists should use when discussing transgender people. At one point, the AP recommended the term “pregnant people” but have since evolved on their politically inspired word choice. New guidance recommends “pregnant women” or “pregnant people.”
So what does TNT gain by effectively erasing women? It’s hoping to expand its dwindling readership.
Strategy plus ideology won’t get more clicks
The use of “pregnant people” is relatively new to TNT.
A keyword search on TNT’s website shows only one local news story using the phrase. The other times it’s used is in editorials by far-left guest writers and the Editorial Board, led by the mediest of mediocre columnists, Matt Driscoll. Since Driscoll took over editing the Opinion section of the paper, it has drifted far into the deep end of left-wing partisanship.
Like a cancer, wokeness infects and quickly spreads. Self-loathing white progressives are the most susceptible. Some are well-intentioned but misguided; others adopt the language of the fringe left to make their first black friends or convince feminists to go out with them. Many use the language so they can present themselves as “evolved” on social media, without actually having to engage in traditional activism that could result in change.
But the editorial decision is likely a strategy to engage younger audiences so that TNT can survive the next few years. Newspapers are struggling; TNT is no exception. Journalists think leaning into partisan coverage highlighting one’s wokeness will win over a younger generation of progressive readers, but it merely brings shame to a media industry in desperate need of saving.
TNT will hasten its demise
It’s one thing to be a columnist who is supposed to be partisan. Driscoll is meant to provide analysis informed by his left-wing beliefs. I’m paid to offer my perspective, too, and I don’t hide that I’m a conservative.
But TNT — and many other outlets — have allowed opinion and bad-faith, partisan framing to leak into the news department. It will hasten its inevitable demise.
This strategy won’t help TNT sell more newspapers or earn more clicks. Newspapers aren’t dying because they’re not woke enough. They’re dying because they substitute facts for opinions in sections where readers want objective news.
One less local news source would be a shame. We’re all better community members when we have access to quality, informative, non-partisan news. TNT just needs to be more willing to offer it. And pretending men can get pregnant isn’t it.
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