Just when you thought it was safe...maybe... to watch Fox News cover trans issues.
Yes, this is the network that gave voice to Keith Ablow, who absurdly claimed that watching Chaz Bono on Dancing with the Stars would somehow make children transgender. But it's also the network that brought Ablow on and took him to task for his comments - not once, but twice. Both Megyn Kelly and Bill O'Reilly in recent weeks have dismissed Ablow's transphobia as what it is - nonsense - and stood up for Chaz's right to be proud of who he is and to dance on primetime TV.
Kelly and O'Reilly told their audience that Chaz should be treated with respect and dignity.
Well, that message apparently never made it to the desks of the folks at Fox and Friends, who combined all the transphobia of Keith Ablow with all the cleverness of a fifth grader (to paraphrase Gawker) while discussing Chaz's injured knee.
Brian Kilmeade: The one part of Chaz that hasn't been operated on!
Steve Doocy: So far! [Laughter]
All snarkiness aside, here's what happened in the couple of seconds it took these two to crack this joke. They telegraphed to their audience that rather than think of Chaz as a person, they should think of him as a series of medical procedures. They dehumanized him. By doing so, they dehumanized all transgender people. Sure, it was "just a joke" as opposed to Ablow's very serious (in tone, anyway) warning. But if Megyn Kelly and Bill O'Reilly are serious about the need to treat transgender people with dignity and respect, they now need to stand up for Chaz yet again.