Convicted spy Bradley Manning is going to court in the hopes of securing a legal name change to Chelsea Manning. Pfc. Manning, who insists he is a woman and wants to be called Chelsea, has neither procured a court order for a name change nor begun gender reassignment treatments.
But reporting on the development, the Associated Press's John Milburn today repeatedly referred to Manning as either Chelsea or used feminine pronouns, betraying the news wire's devotion to absurd political correctness over an obligation to report that which is objectively true (emphasis mine):
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have so far punted on reporting the strong critique of the Obama administration's "disturbing retreat from democratic practices" with regard to the freedom of the press, according to Reporters Without Borders. The U.S. fell 13 places in the international group's annual "World Press Freedom Index" for the federal government's "increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks."
The organization spotlighted the controversial leaks from Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden as examples, but also included the Department of Justice's seizure of the Associated Press' phone records as a "reminder of the urgent need for a 'shield law' to protect the confidentiality of journalists' sources at the federal level." Fox News' Shannon Bream devoted a brief to the Reporters Without Borders report on Wednesday's Special Report: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
"Before we stuff ourselves with stuffing and trim the tree this Thanksgiving, TIME asks some public figures—from Michelle Obama to Rick Warren to our astronauts orbiting Earth—to share what they're grateful for," magazine editors noted in a November 25 post at Time.com today.
All told there were 18 individuals who were given a platform to note what they are thankful for. There were four prominent Democrats, two elected Republicans, and one pro-life activist among them. But the most noteworthy entry was that for "Chelsea" Manning, the feminine identity that convicted Army private Bradley Manning wishes to go by. Here's his entry in full (emphasis mine; the portion in italics at the end was written by TIME magazine):
The September 9 edition of People magazine included an article on Bradley Manning headlined “The Secret After the Sentence: Found guilty of espionage, the discharged Army private reveals she is transgendered and will go to military prison as ‘Chelsea’.”
Reporter Johnny Dodd aggressively used female pronouns even inserting one in a quote from Manning's defense lawyer: “What drove [her] actions was a strong moral compass.”
While honoring Bradley Manning's wish to be identified as a woman and called "Chelsea," Time magazine writer James Poniewozik wants to know exactly when did Bradley become Chelsea, posing various grammatical issues raised by journalists accepting Manning's self-delusion about his gender.
"Since she’s a longtime figure in the news, in a case involving her actions years previous, how do you refer to her history? Did Bradley leak information to Wikileaks, or did Chelsea? (Or Breanna?) Did she serve in Iraq or did he?" Poniewozik wondered in an August 18 Tune In Time.com blog post, adding, "The answer goes to the question, still fuzzily defined, of what philosophy and definitions we’re using when referring to the growing number of transgender persons":
*Corrected from earlier | "Starting tomorrow, The New York Times and The Associated Press will refer to Bradley Manning as Chelsea Manning, 'formerly know as Pfc. Bradley Manning,' honoring the former soldier's request to be addressed as a female," Politico media reporter Dylan Byers noted yesterday* afternoon. Not only will AP and the Times refer to Manning with female pronouns, but in an email, an AP editor insisted that Manning "will henceforth use Pvt. Chelsea E. Manning... in accordance with her wishes to live as a woman."
For his part, however, Byers (and presumably the rest of Politico), is sticking with "he" when describing Manning:
It looks as if MSNBC has kowtowed to Bradley Manning’s request to be referred to as a woman. On Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, fill-in host Mara Schiavocampo tried to honor Manning’s bizarre request, but kept slipping up and referring to Manning as “he.”
In a teaser before the segment, Schiavocampo declared, “Bradley Manning is now Chelsea Manning. But is Leavenworth prison legally obligated to grant the soldier gender re-assignment therapy? And is she in any danger in a men's prison?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
In an exclusive interview with Bradley Manning's attorney David Coombs on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie read a "bombshell announcement" from the convicted military leaker: "I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female." After referring to Manning as "he" throughout the segment, Guthrie immediately switched pronouns: "Why did she choose this moment to announce this?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie then fretted: "She wants hormone therapy. Fort Leavenworth does not provide that. Are you going to sue to try to force the government to give her hormone therapy, and perhaps a sex-reassignment surgery?" Coombs replied: "...as far as the hormone therapy, yes. I'm hoping Fort Leavenworth would do the right thing and provide that. If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that they are forced to do so."
We at NewsBusters have repeatedly raked Reuters over the coals for years now on various issues -- particularly their steadfast refusal in numerous stories to call terrorists "terrorists." But today a kudos is in order as the news wire -- in reporting Private Bradley Manning's desire to undergo hormone therapy to take on the persona of a woman named Chelsea -- refuses to call Manning a "she," something that Time magazine and NBC's Savannah Guthrie, among other journalists, are doing.
In Susan Heavey and Ian Simpson's 24-paragraph story this afternoon, the only times Manning was described as a "she" was when his lawyer was directly quoted [article accessed via ChicagoTribune.com]:
So what if he disclosed information that potentially threatened American lives and security interests? Manning's a "frail guy who doesn't look threatening to anyone." So you have to question the length of his sentence.
Such was the bizarre logic that Chris Matthews—guest hosting for Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC today—employed as he bemoaned Bradley Mannings' sentence--which could in practice see him freed in less than 10 years. Matthews was also moved by the fact that in military prison, Manning will be surrounded by people "who won't like him." View the video after the jump.
Bradley Manning must be terribly lonely. After all, how many gay men have made news the last few years without being celebrated in the media for their gayness? And a gay man who also “struggles with issues of gender identity” can pretty much write his own contract with MSNBC.
But the media, and the broadcast networks especially, are oddly reticent about the sexual orientation and confusion of Manning, the army private convicted of the most extensive military intelligence security breach in U.S. history.
With the start of the Bradley Manning court martial, a number of famous and not-so famous Hollywood liberals have released a video in support of their hero.
It includes the likes of Oliver Stone, Russell Brand, Peter Sarsgaard, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Moby, Tom Morello, Wallace Shawn, and the perilously liberal so-called journalists Matt Taibbi, Phil Donahue, and Chris Hedges (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
He may have committed the largest and most reckless leak of national-security information in America’s history, but Bradley Manning had a happy Monday at National Progressive Radio. NPR’s Morning Edition ran a story by reporter Carrie Johnson that contained absolutely no one who could see Manning in a critical light.
Johnson began: “In the three years since his arrest, the slight Army private with close-cropped blond hair and thick military glasses has become less of a character than a cause.” It’s a cause NPR believes in.
Multimillionaire Occupy Wall Street supporter Michael Moore told protesters in San Francisco last month that the movement has its roots in Army Private Bradley Manning passing top secret classified information to Wikileaks.
So enthusiastic was the crowd on hand that they voted to rename the area they were occupying Bradley Manning Plaza (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It must be what's known in the military as "mission creep." Why else would an organization of professional librarians come out in support of the soldier alleged to be responsible for the largest security breach in U.S. military history?
When it meets for its annual conference in New Orleans June 23, the American Library Association will vote on a resolution calling on the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff to "release Pfc. Bradley Manning from pre-trial confinement and drop the charges against him." (Documents are available here.)
In the wake of the largest security breach in U.S. military history, the mainstream media have struggled to report all the facts about Bradley Manning, the Iraq war soldier in the middle of the Wikileaks scandal. In an effort to pursue political correctness over truthful journalism, ABC, CBS and NBC ignored uncomfortable facts about Manning's sexual orientation and history of "emotional fragility," choosing instead to describe him as an "outcast who tried desperately to fit in."
Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine carried a cover story that oozed with compassion for radical-left WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning. Just as they did in last August's "antiwar hero" story, the Post utterly failed to locate Manning and his supporters on the far left. They were merely "free-information activists." They were the same kind of folks who wanted America to lose the Vietnam War, like Daniel Ellsberg, but that didn’t make them liberals. Post reporter Ellen Nakashima summed up:
For most of the past year, Manning spent 23 hours a day alone in a 6-by-12-foot jail cell. His case has become a rallying point for free-information activists, who say the leaked information belongs to the American people. They compare the 23-year-old former intelligence analyst to Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Vietnam War-era Pentagon Papers, and decry excessive government secrecy.
Cenk Uygur can't figure out why accused Army leaker Bradley Manning isn't being treated like a "hero". Seriously.
Uygur's guest on his MSNBC show this evening was P.J. Crowley, the former State Department spokesman who was forced out of his post for publicly criticizing the treatment of Manning while in detention awaiting trial.
Cenk whined as to why Manning isn't being accorded the "hero" treatment that Daniel Ellsberg received from some for his leak of the Pentagon Papers back in the Vietnam day. But P.J. presumably surprised Cenk, strongly supporting the prosecution of Manning, saying he "caused damage to the United States and our interests around that world," and that his "prosecution is quite necessary."
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN hyped the concerns of psychiatrist Terry Kupers over the imprisonment of Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning. Kupers labeled Manning's months-long solitary confinement "cruel or inhumane treatment, and by international standards, they constitute torture." The guest also claimed that "nobody has been accused of crimes like Bradley Manning's."
Anchor Carol Costello noted in her introduction to her interview of Kupers (which aired 47 minutes into the 10 am Eastern hour) that "Manning, the man accused of giving Wikileaks classified documents, spent most of the last nine months in solitary confinement. One psychiatrist tells CNN that amounted to torture, and it could have done more harm than good." An on-screen graphic trumpeted this charge: "Wikileaks Suspect 'Tortured': Doc: Months of solitary does permanent damage."
A man is arrested and detained for months without any charges being brought against him. He is being held in deplorable conditions, forced to endure extreme physical and mental distress. He is exposed to the same ‘torture’ tactics that other enemies of the United States have allegedly suffered through.
So why isn’t the Commander-in-Chief taking heat for this travesty of justice?
Because this isn’t the Bush administration.
Firedoglake blogger, David House, has been detailing a recent visit with Bradley Manning, accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, at a military prison at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia (h/t Weasel Zippers). Of course, House bemoaned the ‘inhumane’ treatment of Manning, describing the toll that months of solitary confinement have taken on his physical and mental well-being.
AFP ran with the story and made it clear that they had no intention of offering a balanced report. In fact, viewing the headline, one would never know that the story came from an extremely liberal website, reading more as fact than a slanted accusation.
In a report aired on Sunday’s NBC Nightly News, correspondent Mike Taibbi raised the possibility that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that prevented U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning from being openly gay in the military may have played a role in his decision to acquire and leak classified information to WikiLeaks. Before recounting that some in Manning’s hometown of Crescent, Oklahoma, believe he should be strictly punished for his actions, Taibbi also related: "Back in Manning's hometown, they're wondering if his troubled home life and his service in an Army that would not allow him to be openly gay had an impact on his decision to leak sensitive documents."
A bit earlier in the story, the NBC correspondent had also informed viewers of former hacker Adrian Lama’s account of Manning’s complaints about military service. Taibbi: "And in a dozen online conversations, Manning complained he was 'never noticed,' 'regularly ignored,' 'abused,' and said he became the WikiLeaks source because serving in Iraq he was 'actively involved' in something he was completely against."
Yesterday on Twitter, Salon's Glenn Greenwald promised followers a forthcoming story detailing allegations of torture against Private First Class Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking to WikiLeaks. Manning, you may recall, is currently in the brig at Marine Corps Base Quantico.
"A major story brewing is the cruel, inhuman treatment - torture - to which Bradley Manning is being subjected: more to come shortly," Greenwald pledged on December 14. Greenwald's story was published early this morning.
Instead of leading with how Army Private First Class Bradley Manning may have jeopardized national security with his document dump to WikiLeaks, NBC's chief Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, in his profile of Manning on Tuesday's Today show, told viewers he was the "most unlikely suspect, with a youthful smile" and portrayed him as an abused victim of the military. Miklaszewski used the New York Times' Ginger Thompson in his report to tell the tale of young man who apparently decided to avenge the abuse he had taken over the years, dating back to high school, by selling out his country.
Before throwing to soundbites from Thompson, Miklaszewski teased that the New York Times reporter "profiled Manning and found that as a young man he was an outcast who tried desperately to fit in." Thompson then went on to reveal that Manning "was teased all the time in elementary school for being a geek" and was beaten up in high school for "because kids figured out that he was gay." After Miklaszewski added that the abuse continued when he joined the Army, noting "once in the military, he quickly became a target," he aired another clip of Thompson claiming "As a gay man in the military, he was, you know, he was outcast and he was, you know, teased and harassed."
On Saturday, The Washington Post devoted an entire article to left-wing praise and Facebook fan pages for Private Bradley Manning, suspected of the shocking leak of more than 90,000 documents on the war in Afghanistan. The headline was "Army analyst linked to WikiLeaks hailed as antiwar hero."
Washington Post reporter Michael W. Savage (not that other Michael Savage) began: "For antiwar campaigners from Seattle to Iceland, a new name has become a byword for anti-establishment heroism: Army Pfc. Bradley E. Manning." In the entire story, there is no liberal or leftist label used, and there is no conservative counterpoint quoted. There are only "grass roots activists" offering praises to the audacity of Manning:
Army Spc. Bradley Manning may face some serious charges for allegedly leaking tens of thousands of classified military documents to the website WikiLeaks. The leak could have serious consequences for the war effort. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen claimed that WikiLeaks "might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family."
In investigating the leak, will the media explore every plausible motivation on Manning's part, even in spite of strong resistance from the forces of political correctness? We're about to find out.
Manning was openly gay, and possibly transgendered. The UK Telegraph gleaned a number of posts from his Facebook page in which he expressed what seems like intense depression, and occasionally disdain for the US military. There is evidence that he took part in protests against the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, in an interview with CNN's Larry King, compared the suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning with witnesses of Nazi atrocities testifying at Nuremberg.
"He essentially followed the Nuremberg principles," Moore claimed, "which is when you see something going on like this, when you see war crimes being committed, when you see lies being told in order to bring a country to war, you have to speak out against it."
Moore thought that Manning "is exactly who we want in our armed forces," and deserves the Profile in Courage award for helping to make the WikiLeaks public knowledge. "You can't just line up and be a good German and do what you're told to do," Moore said in defense of Manning's audacity.
The liberal filmmaker appeared on King's show last Tuesday, and the news hour was re-aired Sunday night. Moore answered questions from King and from viewers themselves on topics ranging from the BP oil spill to the Arizona immigration law to the WikiLeaks scandal.