Fox News Host Defends Misgendering Chelsea Manning: “I Don't Do What Bradley Manning Wants Me To Do”

Fox News host Gregg Jarrett defended his decision to continue referring to Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning - formerly known as Bradley Manning - as a man, boasting, “I don't do what Bradley Manning wants me to do.”

During the August 23 edition of America's Newsroom, Jarrett invited former prosecutor Annemarie McAvoy to discuss the prospect that Manning might sue to access appropriate medical treatment - including hormone therapy - while serving her sentence in a military prison for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks. On August 22, Manning announced in a statement to NBC that she wished to be identified as a woman, explicitly asking to be referred to as Chelsea or using female pronouns.

Jarrett repeatedly referred to Manning as a male and used the name Bradley throughout the segment. At the end of the interview, Jarrett defended his decision to misgender Manning, saying:

JARRETT: People out there, don't send me angry emails that I refered to him as Bradley and not Chelsea and him instead of her. I don't do what Bradley Manning wants me to do. So thanks very much.

GLAAD's Media Reference Guide calls on news outlets to refer to transgender people by their chosen pronouns, stating:

Always use a transgender person's chosen name. Often transgender people cannot afford a legal name change or are not yet old enough to change their name legally. They should be afforded the same respect for their chosen name as anyone else who lives by a name other than their birth name (e.g., celebrities).

Whenever possible, ask transgender people which pronoun they would like you to use. A person who identifies as a certain gender, whether or not that person has taken hormones or had some form of surgery, should be referred to using the pronouns appropriate for that gender.[emphasis original]

The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJAhas also urged outlets to correctly identify Manning as a female:

As per AP style, one should use the name and pronouns that someone prefers. It's not about drivers' licenses or birth certificates.  Because of Manning's name recognition, we suggest that she be referenced as “US Army Private Chelsea Manning, who formerly went by the name Bradley.” 

Other cable news outlets have similarly failed to identify Manning as a woman.

Fox News has a history of promoting disparaging and inaccurate depictions of transgender people.