Right-wing media rally behind Michael Knowles’ eliminationist anti-trans rhetoric
The Daily Wire pundit is being uncritically embraced by right-wing media for saying “transgenderism must be eradicated” at CPAC
Daily Wire pundit Michael Knowles has spent the past week pushing eliminationist rhetoric about transgender people. It began on his show, where on February 27 he said “transgenderism” had to be “ban[ned] entirely” and continued the next day to deny that his comments could be taken as genocidal because “transgender people is not a real ontological category.” He then reiterated this stance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, saying “transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely.”
Knowles’ fellow conservative pundits have since rallied behind his dangerous rhetoric.
The Daily Wire has been on the defensive with Knowles’ stance, with its vice president of public relations joining his call for retractions at Huffington Post, The Daily Beast and Rolling Stone for headlines rightfully saying Knowles is calling for the eradication of trans people.
Fellow Daily Wire host Matt Walsh, who has an extensive history of anti-trans rhetoric, said that Knowles was “completely right” and called transness “false, poisonous, and destructive to both the individual and society.”
Walsh also publicly sparred with anti-trans investigative reporter Christina Buttons, who announced her departure from The Daily Wire, citing Knowles’ CPAC appearance as a motivator. Walsh ultimately dismissed Buttons as a former leftist who “just got into this movement and now she feels that she is in a position to tell the rest of us how we should operate.”
The organization’s website even went to bat for Knowles, publishing a piece denying his speech was genocidal. The outlet also elevated a few voices defending Knowles, including Liz Wheeler and the managing editor for The Babylon Bee, Joel Berry.
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk also chimed in on Knowles’ speech, attacking California State Senator Scott Wiener’s response by claiming he was “deliberately misrepresenting” Knowles.
Kirk also invited Knowles to his show, where Knowles continued his eliminationist rhetoric and parroted Alex Jones’ theory that chemicals are making people gay along with the debunked “social contagion” theory.
Joining in on Knowles’ demands for retractions is self-described Christian Nationalist “prophet” Lance Wallnau, claiming the Rolling Stone headline endangered Knowles and his family.
Fox News endorsed-presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy joined the chorus calling for retractions, claiming the Rolling Stone headline was proof alone of “actual malice” and that it is a “symptom of a deeper cultural cancer in our country.”
Tayler Hansen, an independent journalist with several appearances on Fox News, said Knowles was “100% right” and denounced any conservatives reeling at the clip, saying, “They are weak pawns who are contributing to the moral decay of society,” and added that conservatives who opposed Knowles’ eliminationist rhetoric “are definitely not on the side of Christ in this battle.”
Contributors to Blaze Media echoed some of the same sentiments. Relatable podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey echoed Walsh’s claims that transness is “destructive both individually & societally” and said that it was “an idea that should be opposed everywhere.”
Meanwhile T.J. Moe, a contributor to Blaze’s podcast Fearless, said Knowles’ statements “shouldn’t be remotely controversial” and called transgender people “mentally ill.”
Elijah Schaffer, who once joked about killing trans children on BlazeTV, portrayed Knowles’ critics as obtuse and dubiously compared his stance of eradicating transness to eradicating cancer.
Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon went on a long-winded spiel in an attempt to clarify that Knowles only wants transness “eradicated from public life,” which is somehow “different from…calling for a group of people to be annihilated.”