May 26, 2024

Newspapers within USA Today network quietly remove senator's op-ed on transgender athletes

Media censorship of conservative views has been a topic of much discussion in recent years, and it is something that hit home for a prominent Louisiana lawmaker this month.

As Fox News reports, multiple newspapers included in the USA Today network owned by Gannett, surreptitiously removed an already-published op-ed on transgender athletes penned by Republican Sen. John Kennedy.

Column stirs debate

According to the Daily Caller, citing Kennedy's own website, eight newspapers in Louisiana -- all part of the aforementioned Gannett network -- published the lawmaker's op-ed, which was entitled, “Is transgender inclusion more important than women's sports.”

In the senator's view, transgender activists have promoted and demanded the inclusion of male athletes claiming to be female to the point where fairness toward biological females falls by the wayside.

Kennedy wrote, “Athletic officials and other adult decision-makers ignored the privacy and dignity of young female athletes to help a biological male/transgender female feel included.”

“They also put women and girls at risk of suffering much more severe injuries than they would typically face when playing against female opponents,” he added.

As such, Kennedy contended, Congress needed to take steps to “protect girls, their sports, their scholarships, and their future from a social experiment.”

Gannett says no

It was only later that Kennedy discovered that the newspapers had quietly removed his piece from distribution without so much as a word to him.

Eventually, the senator was informed that his column included “inflammatory” speech that ran afoul of the company's ethical standards.

Speaking to Fox News Digital, Michael McCarter of Gannett held firm, saying, “The opinion teams across the USA Today network are focused on delivering local, timely, relevant, and diverse opinion pieces. We recognize the importance of sharing varying perspectives and the vital role we play convening conversations.”

“Sen. John Kennedy's submitted opinion column did not meet our ethical guidelines, which state we will treat people with respect,” McCarter went on, stating that Kennedy was offered an opportunity to revise the piece so as to comport with company standards.

The ever-outspoken Kennedy did not take kindly to Gannett's position, saying, “They think they are the speech police. Drunk on certainty and virtue, they think they are our moral teacher. This attitude is why so many Americans have lost confidence in the media,” and that is a sentiment with which millions surely agree.

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