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CNN guest jokes Chelsea Manning will get ‘good practice’ being a woman in prison

CARLOS MAZA | Equality Matters
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Related:
CNN has no excuse for continuing to call Chelsea Manning a man
Read here.


CNN host Fredricka Whitfield continued to incorrectly refer to Chelsea Manning as a male as one of her guests suggested that providing Manning with hormone therapy while in prison would be “beyond insanity.”

During the August 24 edition of ”CNN Newsroom,” Whitfield invited civil rights attorney Avery Friedman and criminal defense attorney Richard Herman to discuss the possibility of providing Manning with medical treatment for her gender dysphoria while she serves her sentence in an all-male military prison for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks.

Herman, who is a regular CNN legal commentator, railed against the possibility of providing Manning with adequate medical care, calling the idea “beyond insanity” and suggesting that Manning could get “good practice” presenting as a female in prison:

HERMAN: It’s absurd. Sometimes we have to step back and say, “you know, some of these cases we cover, this is beyond insanity.” There’s no way that taxpayers are going to pay a hundred thousand dollars for a gender transformation for this guy while he’s in prison. If he wants to be Chelsea, he can practice all he wants at Fort Leavenworth, because those guys are there for a long time. So he can get good practice and when he gets out, he can have the operation or whatever, and he can pay for it.

CNN’s Whitfield continued Herman’s line of questioning, repeatedly referring to Manning as a male and wondering why Manning had waited until after sentencing to announce her gender dysphoria:

WHITFIELD: And if this argument is entertained, the issue has to be “why now?” Why wouldn’t this have been addressed long before trial, long before sentencing?

Denying Manning access to medical care, including hormone therapy, raises “serious constitutional concerns,” according to the American Civil Liberties Union. The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently found that refusing hormone therapy to transgender inmates in civilian prisons “serves no valid penological purpose and amounts to torture” as it aggravates a number of mental health problems and elevates the risk of dangerous autocastration attempts.

In addition, Whitfield’s suggestion that Manning failed to address her gender dysphoria before her trial is false. As Friedman points out, Manning’s gender identity issues were a major part of her lawyer’s defense, having been public knowledge since as early as 2009.

As Manning’s lawyer David Coombs explained during the August 22 edition of the Today show, Manning chose to hold off her announcement until after the trial because” she didn’t want this to be something that overshadowed the case.” Now that Manning faces years in prison without the ability to make her own medical decisions, it makes sense that she would raise questions about the government’s accommodation of transgender inmates.

Near the end of the segment, Friedman joked about Manning’s appearance, saying “you know, when he puts that wig and lipstick on, the guy’s a dead ringer for Tonya Harding.”

Whitfield isn’t the first CNN employee to incorrectly refer to Manning as a male despite Manning’s explicit request to be identified as a female.

© Equality Matters.
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69 more reader comments:

  1. not cool

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:05pm
  2. what someone named “Fredericka” thinks really doesn´t matter

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:05pm
  3. After all, that´s all women are, holes to rape. Amazing being so misogynistic and transphobic in one statement, sir.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:05pm
  4. Wtf?

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:06pm
  5. hey guys like my page?

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:06pm
  6. ok, while I hate the coverage this woman is getting that was rude and kind of piggish to say… >_>

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:07pm
  7. Idiot!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:07pm
  8. And CNN drops to level FOX.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:08pm
  9. With a name like that, wow, no wonder he´s an ass.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:08pm
  10. Because if there´s one topic that always leaves audiences rolling in the aisles… it´s RAPE. :\

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:09pm
  11. Because if there´s one topic that always leaves audiences rolling in the aisles… it´s RAPE. :\

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:09pm
  12. Because if there´s one topic that always leaves audiences rolling in the aisles… it´s RAPE. :\

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:09pm
  13. Because if there´s one topic that always leaves audiences rolling in the aisles… it´s RAPE. :\

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:09pm
  14. CNN just went down the Fox hole!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:11pm
  15. He should be fired, immediately. This is wildly homophobic and must not be tolerated under any circumstances. This is the kind of bizarre, homophobic sh*t one expects to hear on Fux, not on CNN.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:11pm
  16. bunch of egocentric tools….

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:12pm
  17. Such a jerk

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:15pm
  18. to whom it may concern Do you the people at CNN get your kicks out of humiliating and discriminating against all LGBT Americans or is it just the Transgender portion of the LGBT spectrum I am glad you and your viewers got a rise and a kick out of a recent quest who poked fun at Chelsea Manning. hey I´m transgender how about poking fun at me and all other Transgender men and women out there. While your at it why not pick on and ridicule the many other minority´s as well or how about handicapped people they always bring a good laugh. YOUR SICK TWISTED ABHORANT NO BETTER TAHN FOX NEWS A DEGENRATE SECOND RATE ENTERTIANMENT SERVICE. MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE DISGUSTED BY TODAYS EVENTS ON t.v MILLIONS

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:15pm
  19. CNN is now a variety show & no longer for news.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:16pm
  20. well, he will. I´m still wondering how much of a ploy to gain sympathy this was. I mean I´m transgendered and I never exposed state secrets.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:17pm
  21. Transphobic is more what it is.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:19pm
  22. He was a CNN guest, he wasn´t a CNN news reporter or anything. But still, regardless, what this idiot said about her is utterly childish. How a professional news reporter would allow someone of this mindset on their show is beyond me.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:20pm
  23. Rape is not funny. It is NEVER funny.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:21pm
  24. once an Ass Hole ….Always an Ass Hole…,this guy, He´s just a Dick !

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:23pm
  25. I agree with Bethany. Some things just aren´t funny, like ever.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:23pm
  26. Seems to me if this were an assigned female who needed to be male the transition would be a military priority.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:25pm
  27. so what

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:26pm
  28. he´s going to prison who gives a fuck

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:27pm
  29. I know he broke the law but to make fun of her rape is not funny

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:29pm
  30. I wonder if Herman would find abortion jokes hilarious too. Maybe not – maybe he´d draw the line there.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:36pm
  31. Get´s on CNN for arguing points, makes rape jokes instead. What a classy guy.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:45pm
  32. Fucktards.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:47pm
  33. Here´s his phone number: (212) 868-9300, his email: rbh@richardbherman.com , and his website http://www.richardbherman.com/.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:51pm
  34. human turd….no offense meant to turds.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:53pm
  35. Not funny!!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:55pm
  36. IQ of zero.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:57pm
  37. Just like the guest gets ´good practice being a woman´ at home with his wife, I´m sure… People joke about the truth.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:58pm
  38. Bigot.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:58pm
  39. Well… CNN.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:09am
  40. Wow. That is a lot of stupid.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:10am
  41. the commentator is an IDIOT, but I don´t think I should foot the bill as a taxpayer for NON-necessary treatment. whether you agree with the verdict or not he´s been found guilty and he shouldn´t be rewarded by my money being used to have his gender reassignment. he can use his own dime for that!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:19am
  42. OMG Fredricka referred to Manning as a he, lets take her out and stone her.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:20am
  43. He´s always a dick no matter what panel he´s on. Look at that hairline and triple chin…..he´s the joke. A-hole!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:31am
  44. This is so WRONG!!! Commentators should be held accountable for this kind of malicious perpetuation of stereotypes and ignorant hatred…

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:32am
  45. Manning is not a female yet.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:37am
  46. Just tweeted to CNN

    By allowing Whitfield and Herman to speak in a humiliating way about Manning being a trans woman, you are keeping transphobia alive?@CNN

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:42am
  47. Now doesn´t he think he is so clever.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:52am
  48. I have got to the point where i don´t watch CNN anymore. It is all for drawing ratings and very little about the news. I want to be given the news and I will make up my own mind. CNN sensationalizes thing way to much and put their own spin on things lately.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 1:02am
  49. insensitive fuck needs to be fired.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 1:11am
  50. What a monster. He´s joking about rape, the awful state of prisons, and mocking a minority.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 1:41am
  51. well that was funny

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 1:59am
  52. Yukky of him to be so insensitive….!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 2:07am
  53. I heard this asshole at my work say this last Thursday. I was super pissed.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 2:07am
  54. Need to stake this guy down and let a mule rape his ass, he wouldn´t be needing x-lax for a long time…

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 2:12am
  55. Wow, transphobia AND a rape joke? As if one on its own isn´t bad enough? Vile.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 2:13am
  56. Soooo, let me get this straight: a female was interviewing him, he makes a joke about practice as a woman, presumably through rape,…and SHE wasn´t even offended? Because that was downright misogynistic and transphobic. So what you´re saying is that in order for a woman to acknowledge she is a woman or to fully become a woman, she has to be raped? Got it.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 2:20am
  57. he got that “joke” off the yahoo comments….seriously, that is all i see there.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 2:24am
  58. What an A-hole! I´m not into being a traitor but come on! Have a little couth! The transgender issue is a whole separate thing!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 2:56am
  59. Unacceptable. ..that statement presumes that all men in prison are engaging in homosexual activity…which is definitely not true! !!!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 3:10am
  60. I´ll show you practice bitch let me strap on! ┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 3:16am
  61. I can´t wait for these old turds to die. I just hope he didn´t do too much harm to his children.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 3:22am
  62. Fred-I am disappointed-I was a fan :(

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 4:05am
  63. Yah, this was a perfect setup for you insecure sexuality guys. Gulfport welcomes everyone, because everyone has something to contribute to the betterment of the community!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 4:59am
  64. This is stupid. If I “explicitly request” to be called Jesus Christ, does that mean everyone has to do it? No. When the little bastard actually becomes a woman and legally changes his name, then you people can go about calling him a woman. Until then, STFU and get over yourselves. I don´t give a damn if he claims to be transgender. There´s no way in hell our tax dollars should go to pay for shit. If he doesn´t like it, then he shouldn´t have decided to become a criminal. It´s like that old saying, “If you can´t do the time, don´t do the crime.” I have no sympathy for the selfish little shitbag. He should just be happy he isn´t swinging from a noose. Once upon a time we actually used to punish traitors…

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 5:45am
  65. i don´t watch cnn anymore for anything. this just gives me another reason not too.

    for one, they give too much face time to hate groups against equal rights and marriage.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 9:36am
  66. Sometimes people need to open their eyes, take a step back to see the real issue. This attorney is not bashing gays. His point is about why should this person get special treatment when others go without or have to wait for life saving meds. Hormone treatments is NOT a life saving procedure.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 11:52am
  67. What dirty minds and hatefilled ones to in saying such things. It tells more about them, than the subject of their speech.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 2:55pm
  68. Is this really the word we live in??

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 4:07pm
  69. what an ass

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 4:16pm