Liberal Florida word hypocrisy

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A new billboard welcoming visitors to “Florida: The Sunshine ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ State. is seen Thursday, April 21, 2022, in Orlando, Fla., part of an advertising campaign launched by the Human Rights Campaign. Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law has prohibited discussion of various LGBTQ issues in many of the state’s classrooms. John Raoux/AP

Liberal Florida word hypocrisy

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There is no easier job in the world than that of a Democratic communications staffer. Legacy media do about 90% of the work for them.

The Associated Press, for example, is back on its nonsense this week, referring to a Florida state law not by its official title, but by the name chosen by left-wing activists.

“DeSantis to expand ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law to all grades,” reads the headline of a March 22 article.

“The administration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is moving to forbid classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in all grades,” the AP announced in a separate news blurb on social media, “expanding the current so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law.”

The story’s first paragraph is careful to refer to the legislation in question as “Don’t Say Gay.” It’s not until the seventh paragraph that readers learn the name of the actual law, which prohibits instructors in the Sunshine State from using federal resources to teach students in preschool through the third grade about sexual activity, sexual orientation, dysphoria, or transgenderism.

It’s called the Parental Rights in Education Act.

Once again, “Don’t Say Gay” is a product of left-wing messaging. The word “gay” is not featured anywhere in the Florida bill. Left-wing activists simply dubbed it “Don’t Say Gay,” and the largest and most powerful newsrooms in the United States sort of just accepted the branding effort.

As we’ve discussed before, there wasn’t even a debate regarding the Left’s nickname for the Parental Rights in Education Act. Liberals called it “Don’t Say Gay,” and that was good enough for the AP, the New York Times, and others. I’m repeating myself, but it’s worth reminding everyone of what happened in the 2010 era during the fight over the Affordable Care Act. Newsrooms at the time agonized over the question of whether it was appropriate to refer to the bill by the popular nickname “Obamacare,” the name given by right-wing activists. Most newsrooms opted to avoid the term “Obamacare” (which was named after Democratic President Barack Obama), deeming it too inappropriate and impolite. It was not until Obama himself embraced the name “Obamacare” that corporate newsrooms felt comfortable enough to do the same.

Now compare and contrast these two events, the Affordable Care Act and the Parental Rights in Education Act. Compare and contrast the media’s hesitation to whisper the name “Obamacare” to the press’s immediate and unflinching embrace of “Don’t Say Gay.”

Again, the easiest job in the world has got to be that of a Democratic communications staffer.

Objective!

Activism and journalism may, on occasion, walk hand-in-hand. One encourages and strengthens the other. But boy, when they aren’t perfectly complimentary, watch out. The journalism part tends to suffer enormously.

Danielle Campoamor, a reporter for NBC’s Today, said this week that pro-lifers in Idaho have made it harder for women to give birth in the state.

A hospital in Sand Point, Idaho, announced on March 17 that it would shutter its labor and delivery unit, citing the loss of pediatrician coverage, staffing problems, changing demographics, and the state’s “legal and political climate.” That last reason seems like a dodge or deflection, one that, at the very least, requires a little more digging. But not for Campoamor. For her, the hospital’s reference to the state’s “political climate” was evidence that Idaho’s pro-life laws were bad and evil.

“[The hospital] cited staffing issues,” Campoamor told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing, “a decline in the number of babies being born in that hospital, but really went into the anti-abortion laws in the state saying that OB-GYNs are leaving the state, they can’t have them come to a state where they could potentially be criminalized, potentially be sued if they’re giving care that could qualify as an abortion under the anti-abortion laws in the state and so they’re saying this is just not a safe environment for OB-GYNs anymore.”

This isn’t what the hospital said. It’s important to consider the actual wording of the hospital’s statement. In announcing the unit’s closure, the statement cites first the “loss of pediatrician coverage” and then “volumes and changing demographics.” The statement then reads, “Highly respected, talented physicians are leaving. Recruiting replacements will be extraordinarily difficult.” The statement then adds (emphasis added): “In addition, the Idaho Legislature continues to introduce and pass bills that criminalize physicians for medical care nationally recognized as the standard of care. Consequences for Idaho Physicians providing the standard of care may include civil litigation and criminal prosecution, leading to jail time or fines.”

In other words: We are shutting down this unit. Our reasons are as follows: a loss of pediatrician coverage, changing demographics, and staffing, hiring, and retainment problems. Also these new state laws are concerning, and they may scare away potential applicants.

The hospital never blamed the pro-life laws for the unit’s shuttering. In fact, in a statement provided exclusively to the Today reporter, a hospital spokeswoman specifically said that the loss of pediatric coverage ended up being “the final barrier that drove the decision to close Labor and Delivery services.”

Yet over at MSNBC, audiences are told a somewhat different story, one where pro-life legislators are the main villains.

Is there a reason Campoamor gives the vague “political climate” reference more weight than the loss of pediatric coverage? Is there a reason she gives “political climate” more weight than the hospital claiming the demographics simply aren’t there to justify the existence of a full-time, fully staffed labor and delivery unit? A reason, that is, aside from the fact the “political climate” excuse allows Campoamor to blame pro-lifers for the unit’s closure?

“It’s plaguing those in the state who like to have to prioritize their families over there over the duty that they have as doctors, but, even future OB-GYNs, I talked to one future OB-GYN who wanted to go back after her four-year residency and is now saying I have to choose between ‘is this a community that I could give birth in safely or am I going to put myself in a position where if I have a family, I could be imprisoned or fined or sued because I was actually just doing my job,’” Campoamor said.

Jansing answered, “Well, there is that thought. I mean, as the only OB-GYN, and if you get pregnant, where do you go, what do you do?”

For the record, Idaho law is fairly clear with its definition of abortion. Miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies are not considered abortions. The law also provides exemptions for medical emergencies. Also, for the record, Campoamor is an outspoken and proud pro-abortion activist.

Her passion for abortion may be clouding her better judgment, as well as her reading of the situation in Sand Point. The hospital never said state laws drove away good physicians. The hospital never even hinted that the laws caused the unit’s closure. That’s all Campoamor’s doing.

Becket Adams is a columnist for the Washington Examiner and National Review. He is also the program director of the National Journalism Center.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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