The Daily Caller accused President Obama of “contemptuously” allowing a government shutdown on the first day of National Bullying Prevention Month, seemingly oblivious to its own history of actively bullying LGBT teenagers.
In an October 2 article, the Daily Caller's Eric Owens attempted to blame the president for allowing the federal government shutdown in the midst of National Bullying Prevention Month, writing:
President Barack Obama contemptuously chose to allow the first federal government shutdown in almost two decades on the first day of National Bullying Prevention Month, according to a press release sent to The Daily Caller by the National Education Association (NEA).
The NEA has announced that a group of researchers, policymakers and other key players in the education industry will convene on October 8 for a summit in Washington, D.C. for a National Bullying Prevention Month summit to talk about how to prevent bullying and make schools across the country safe environments for every student.
It's not clear if the current shutdown of the federal government will have any effect on the National Bullying Prevention Month summit.
The most common form of bullying remains the spoken kind. Physical torment is also too widespread. Cyber-bullying continues to be a growing concern.
Owens' attack is just the latest in the conservative media's desperate attempt to blame Democrats and the Obama administration for the government shutdown, but it's especially perplexing given Owens' own penchant for actively bullying transgender students.
As the Daily Caller's education editor, Owens has repeatedly mocked transgender students - one of the groups most vulnerable to school bullying and harassment:
- On July 28, Owens accused transgender students fighting for equal treatment of making a "big fuss" because “their genitalia doesn't match the bathrooms and locker rooms they prefer to use”
- On September 11, Owens authored an article about “transgender high schoolers running for homecoming king, queen, whatever"
- On September 17, Owens wrote about a transgender student who filed a lawsuit to gain access to appropriate bathroom facilities, calling the lawsuit a demand for "special treatment"
- On September 25, Owens mocked a transgender student for posting an emotional video in which she describes being the target of transphobic harassment, calling the video “interminable” and a "YouTube meltdown"
Throughout his writing, Owens repeatedly misgenders students, refers to their “genitalia” and “various male appendages,” and criticizes efforts to create more inclusive and welcoming school environments.
It remains unclear what the government shutdown has to do with Obama's support for anti-bullying efforts, but it's hard to see Owens' criticism as anything more than a cynical attempt to score political points. If the Daily Caller really wants to make a contribution to National Bullying Prevention Month, it can start by looking into the transphobic cyber bullies on its payroll.