GLAAD and Equality Ohio are calling on Fox 19 (Cincinnati, OH) to condemn comments made last month by news anchor Tricia Macke, who called MSNBC host Rachel Maddow an "Angry Young Man" on her Facebook page. According to incident reports received by Equality Ohio, after a viewer expressed offense to the comment, Mackie stood by her characterization of Maddow as male, responding, "You are right. I'm sorry, I should've said ‘antagonistic.’"
When another person responded that, in the news business, sexual orientation is irrelevant, Macke responded, "I knew what I was saying." The exchange appears to have been deleted from Mackie's Facebook page, but screenshots are below.
Referring to Maddow as a "man" because she is a gay woman is completely unacceptable for someone in the business of journalism.
Cincinnati viewers rely on Macke and Fox 19 to deliver unbiased and fair reporting about the lives of LGBT people in their community. But this is someone who attempted to insult a gay woman by questioning her gender, then stated very clearly that she did so with complete awareness of her actions.
"Macke owes an apology not only to viewers, but to young people in Ohio who are subjected to unfair bullying and harassment like this on a daily basis," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick.
Tricia Macke undoubtedly tried to insult Maddow because of their political differences, rather than simply because Maddow is gay - but her comments went much further than insulting Maddow's political leanings, and took issue with Maddow's gender, revealing an anti-gay (or at least anti-gender-nonconforming?) bias underlying her political beliefs.
Fox 19 and its owner Raycom Media must take swift action to condemn Macke's remarks, and Macke should make a full apology. These steps are necessary for both Macke and the station to prove they can be trusted to report objectively on issues that impact Cincinnati's LGBT community. GLAAD has reached out to KXIX General Manager Bill Lanesey and has not yet heard back.