Fox News may still be up to its old tricks, but the new administration of Democratic President Joe Biden is making it clear it is not here to play their games.
Case in point, Press Secretary Jen Psaki who emphatically shut down a Fox News reporter's subtly transphobic question about transgender athletes.
Asked if protecting transgender athletes will result in a transgender takeover of women's sports, Psaki curtly replied that trans rights are human rights.
"The president's belief is that trans rights are human rights" -- Jen Psaki https://t.co/8VOMcN4XoR— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1612894363.0
The incident occurred during today's daily White House press briefing
In response to President Biden's January 21 signing of what the Human Rights Campaign called "the most substantive LGBT+ executive order in history," Fox News Radio reporter Rachel Sutherland trafficked in the usual subtle transphobia common on the right.
Referencing the executive order's provisions for allowing transgender students to compete on school sports teams that correspond with their gender identity, Sutherland asked:
"What message would the White House have for trans girls and cis girls who may end up competing against each other, in sparking some lawsuits and some concern among parents?"
Many saw the question as a thinly veiled attempt to differentiate trans girls from cisgender girls and pit the two against each other, casting the latter as some kind of victim of the former. Once again the debate they hope to create primarily targets transgender school children.
The allegation being leveled by conservatives in this issue is that transgender athletes have a physical advantage over cisgender girls that puts them on an unequal playing field, so to speak.
For many right-wing politicians and commentators, the issue of transgender student athletes has supplanted the furor over bathroom laws from years past as the new transphobic legislative goal du jour.
But much like there was no evidence trans people attack cisgender women in bathrooms with which to justify draconian bathroom laws, there has as yet been no evidence of any such physical advantage for transgender athletes. It seems to be nothing more than a ploy by conservatives to once again attempt to legislate transphobia.
And Psaki, for one, was not fooled for a moment.
In response to Sutherland's question, Psaki curtly and plainly responded:
"I would just say that the President's belief is that trans rights are human rights, and that's why he signed that executive order. In terms of determinations by universities and colleges, I certainly defer to them."
On Twitter, people applauded Paski's no-nonsense handling of Sutherland's question.
@atrupar Truly enjoy watching Jen Psaki's patience letting these people flap in the wind before answering.— Peggy Lou - Wear a Mask, Save Lives! (@Peggy Lou - Wear a Mask, Save Lives!)1612894517.0
@atrupar I like the new dynamic of long, complex questions, followed by short, clear answer. It's refreshing.— Michael Tallon (@Michael Tallon)1612894547.0
@atrupar All Jen Psaki had to do was sit back and let that reporter reveal her own ridiculousness— NewDawnNewDay and I'm Feeling Good (@NewDawnNewDay and I'm Feeling Good)1612895249.0
@atrupar I love how she just lets that reporter keep talking and making her question seem dumber and dumber. Lol— Colleen McNamara ☘️ (@Colleen McNamara ☘️)1612894579.0
This is correct https://t.co/b2u7WKhkIn— Ken Marino (@Ken Marino)1612899319.0
Let this not be overlooked. https://t.co/RIilSEki67— Nina West (@Nina West)1612936130.0
Ngl, i love to hear it https://t.co/hCYOaPQPxo— RAME (@RAME)1612894503.0
46 picked the right person for this job. https://t.co/SyDyL75wch— Manny 🏳️🌈 (@Manny 🏳️🌈)1612902134.0
There's a lot of work today, but the energy doing it is different when you hear this from the top https://t.co/TzLhK0uLIK— Tullavin💛🤍💜🖤 (@Tullavin💛🤍💜🖤)1612895297.0
I'm bawling over here. This is so amazing. https://t.co/n0ipqxFePb— Amy Theron (@Amy Theron)1612896601.0
Biden's stance and action on the issue of transgender student athletes is a stark shift away from the transphobia of Republican President Donald Trump's administration, which threatened to pull Department of Education funding from school districts in Connecticut unless they agreed to discriminate against transgender students in sports.