Multiple conservative commentators are criticizing Fox News after the nation's leading conservative news network aired a favorable profile of a trans-identified child during "pride month."
On Friday, Fox News' "America Newsroom" featured a report from correspondent Bryan Llenas about Ryland Whittington, a trans-identified 14-year-old girl living in California.
A graphic reading "America Together: Celebrating Diversity" plugging "LGBTQ+ Pride Month" prefaced the report. As noted by co-host Dana Perino, Whittington's "story about transitioning at age 5 has been seen by 7 million people in a family YouTube video" published eight years ago.
As part of our “America Together: LGBTQ+ Pride Month” series at Fox News we highlighted the story of Ryland Whittington - a trans California teen and his family who openly spoke about their journey. “I Would Rather Have a Living Son Than a Dead Daughter”https://t.co/rn3RVwd7JW— Bryan Llenas (@BryanLlenas) June 10, 2022
"Before Ryland could even speak, he managed to tell his parents that he is a boy," Llenas said. Whittington's mother, Hillary, said that "It was truly painful for him to have to wear feminine clothing" and be told, "you're a girl."
Llenas reported that "unlike some trans kids, when Ryland came out at age 5 a few years later, he had the full support of his parents."
Reacting to statistics showing that trans-identified youth have higher suicide rates than their cisgender counterparts, Mrs. Whittington remarked, "I'd rather have a living son than a dead daughter."
"I guarantee that if we had pushed back and done what a lot of parents do, I don't think that we would have either one of the kids that you see before you here today," she added. Llenas concluded the report by stating, "what extraordinary courage displayed by Ryland, his sister Brynley, father Jeff and mom Hillary."
"It's not easy, particularly at a time when transgender issues have been politicized," Llenas stated. "People are afraid of what they do not understand, Dana. This family hopes their story will lead to more understanding, more acceptance and, ultimately, more love."
Matt Walsh, a conservative blogger who regularly appears on Fox News and recently spearheaded a documentary about gender ideology, vehemently pushed back against the network for airing a report painting the gender transition of a minor in a positive light.
"We have to call out this evil lunacy wherever we see it. Especially on our own side," he wrote in a Twitter thread Friday.
(Thread) I have appeared on Fox News many times. I appreciate the platform they’ve given me. If what I’m about to say ruins that relationship, so be it. We have to call this evil lunacy out wherever we see it. Especially on our own side.— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 10, 2022
"The piece did not simply report on the controversy surrounding child transitioning. It outright promotes the practice," Walsh lamented. "The reporter says that the child announced a new gender as a toddler. Does Fox want us to believe that BABIES can choose their gender?"
Walsh characterized the aforementioned idea as "the most extreme, radical, dangerous form of gender ideology" and expressed disgust that "it's being promoted on Fox News."
He suggested that "the poor kid is 14 now with a permanently altered body, condemned to live forever with an identity imposed as a small child."
"It is horrifying, evil, and sick. And it is what Fox chose to promote," he said. "I know for a fact many people at Fox do not approve of this and never would have agreed to air radical far-left trans propaganda."
Walsh called for everyone involved in the report to "be fired immediately."
"Fox reporter Bryan Llenas chose to do this story and someone at Fox chose to put it on the air," he wrote.
Ben Shapiro, the editor emeritus of The Daily Wire and host of "The Ben Shapiro Show," also posted a Twitter thread on the Fox News report.
"This would be absolute despicable lunacy if I saw it on CNN or MSNBC. To see it on Fox News is a complete betrayal of anything remotely resembling conservatism or decency," he wrote.
This would be absolute despicable insane lunacy if I saw it on CNN or MSNBC. To see it on Fox News is a complete betrayal of anything remotely resembling conservatism or decency. https://t.co/GByzfB2F5c— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) June 10, 2022
"Every element of this video is propagandistic, dangerous garbage. The report states that this biologically female child was choosing her gender BEFORE SHE COULD SPEAK. This is madness."
Shapiro described the Whittingtons' push to "social transition" the child at age 5 as "child abuse."
"The vast majority of children who display signs of gender dysphoria desist over time," he added.
Shapiro accused the report of constituting "horrifying propaganda."
He called out the "Mom citing her 'Christian faith' to justify the perversion of biological identity" and "the radical gender theory activist Trevor Project stats claiming that childhood transition is the only way to prevent suicide."
"We've got Dad talking about 'living authentically' — by hormonally transitioning a biologically female child, transition that if continued will result in biological sterilization and/or breast- and genital-mutilating surgery," he continued.
"Fox News is too important to conservatives to be weaponized on behalf of the most radical Leftist propaganda imaginable — propaganda that aims directly at the mental and physical health of children. They should terminate whoever is responsible for this agitprop abomination."
Other conservative commentators offered much shorter takes about Fox News' profile.
"Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer when my conservative news outlets don't encourage parents to trans their little children," Michael Knowles, who hosts "The Michael Knowles Show" on The Daily Wire, tweeted.
Allie Beth Stuckey, the host of the "Relatable" podcast, tweeted that she was "stunned" Fox News chose to run the segment, calling the network's embrace of the story "maddening & heartbreaking."
Radio host Erick Erickson referred to "Fox News promoting trans propaganda" as "something to behold," predicting that doing so "would hurt the network more than calling Arizona for [President Joe] Biden."
Terry Schilling of the conservative American Principles Project condemned the report.
"This poor little girl will never have children and began transitioning before she could even consent to sexual activity," he tweeted.
Friday's report is not the first time Fox News has experienced pushback from conservatives for embracing LGBT ideology.
When the network hired Bruce Jenner, a trans-identified Olympic athlete who now identifies as Caitlyn, as a contributor, radio host Michael Brown wrote an April op-ed for The Christian Post titled "Christian conservatives, you cannot put your trust in Fox News."
Brown contends that the network has ceded its "moral authority" to speak out against trans-identified athlete Lia Thomas, a biological male who competed on the women's swimming team at the University of Pennsylvania, by citing Jenner as an "inspiration to us all" in a statement announcing the retired athlete's hiring as a contributor.
In a previous op-ed for The Christian Post, Brown took issue with Fox News host Sean Hannity for using female pronouns to address Jenner, who was running for governor of California at the time.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: email@example.com