A Week of ‘Caitlyn’ Swoon: 51 Network Minutes and Gallons of Purple Ink

To media, reality denying is ‘life-affirming.’

“Caitlyn” Jenner’s transformation was “a culture-shaping, Internet-busting media event of heartfelt human understanding.” These words from the June 8 Washington Post sum up fairly well the mainstream media’s reaction to Jenner’s new identity.

CBS, NBC, and ABC spent a combined 51 minutes of news coverage on Jenner just in the past week, pouring praise and compliments on him at every turn.

Virtually every media outlet swooned. One CNN commentator described the painfully drawn-out unveiling as “life-affirming, powerful.” Funny, since the whole fuss is about Jenner’s denial of part of himself.

Then there was the clamor about Jenner’s ‘courage.’ According to The Post, many Americans believe Jenner was ‘courageous and heroic.’ Though this was a conflation, certainly the media has emblazoned these adjectives on Jenner. Sports media giant ESPN plans to give Jenner an award for courage (in recent times, always awarded for LGBT causes) in July.

Still, other far-left commentators like Sally Kohn have gone further, calling Jenner ‘a model of femininity.’ Another Post article mused at changing the past to agree with Jenner’s “truth,” meaning that the 1976 men’s decathlon winner was “Caitlyn” rather than “Bruce.”

The only lefty criticism of Jenner and the rhapsodic media celebration came from those who grumbled that in choosing to debut as a glamorous starlet-type, Jenner was reinforcing a female stereotype.  Writing in The New York Times, Princeton’s Rhonda Garelick captured the silliness of “Caitlyn’s reception:

A NEW goddess has emerged like Botticelli’s Venus rising from the sea. Caitlyn Jenner gazes out from Annie Leibovitz’s July Vanity Fair cover, bare save for a satin bodysuit. Her auburn curls tumble over alabaster shoulders. Can she really be the avatar of personal freedom and self-expression the media claims her to be?

Garelick went on to complain:

While the fanfare around the emergence of Caitlyn may advance our acceptance of transgender individuals, it does so, in this case, at a price: the perpetuation, even celebration, of narrow and dehumanizing strictures of womanhood sustained by the fashion and entertainment industries. True liberation of gender’s vast spectrum should ask more of us than that we simply exchange one uncomfortable, oppressive identity for another.

It’s one of the built-in ironies of the left that, as the culture is debased and social progressives march from victory to victory, there’s always something else to whine about.

But all in all, the media’s coverage of Jenner has been ridiculously expansive and self-indulgent. The last week has been one of promoting and glorifying transgenderism using Caitlyn as a catalyst.

With TV shows focused on transgenderism looming this summer, the media has clearly chosen a new social agenda to push. Caitlyn was just the beginning.