WASHINGTON — Media Matters, a media watchdog group, has found that despite a list of attacks on the LGBTQ community by the Trump administration in a sing week, TV networks barely covered them.
Between May 22 and May 24, the administration issued rules that would allow homeless shelters to turn away transgender people, allow medical workers to use religious objections to avoid treating LGBTQ people and make it easier for religious adoption agencies not to allow LGBTQ couples to adopt.
Media Matters found that from May 22 to May 31, all six networks spent a total of just over 11 minutes covering LGBTQ issues. Only CNN and Fox News did any coverage, with CNN having about seven and half minutes and Fox just under three and a half minutes.
From Media Matters:
CNN discussed the topics over the span of six segments, including during an interview with trans actor D’Lo about an advertisement featuring a father showing his transgender son how to shave. That segment was the only relevant coverage during the time period to feature an LGBTQ guest. Fox News covered the topics over two segments. One was an interview with HUD Secretary Ben Carson, in which he misleadingly framed the discriminatory rule as “being fair to everybody.”
Print and digital media did cover the issues much more in depth.
Trans writer Katelyn Burns wrote two op-eds contextualizing the recent anti-LGBTQ attacks as part of Trump’s all-out assault on the transgender community. In Teen Vogue, she outlined how these policies could trigger suicidal ideation in trans youth, encourage unsupportive parents, and prevent young people from accessing medically necessary care. In The Washington Post, Burns called HHS’ proposed rule “the cruelest thing the Trump administration has done to trans people,” writing:
For me, as a transgender person, this administration’s constant targeting of us is terrifying. It seems that there’s little they won’t do to making transitioning and living a dignified life as a transgender person impossible. Trump and his administration are clearly prioritizing the desires of religious conservatives who would like to see my existence rubbed out of society, and they’ve come this far so quickly with barely a blip of resistance.
Digital outlets such as BuzzFeed, The Daily Beast, and HuffPost also covered the rules, citing LGBTQ advocates and contextualizing the administration’s moves as part of a wider strategy to undermine LGBTQ equality across the country.