Fox News viewers, prominent Christians, and conservative pundits publicly bombarded the network Friday, after it aired a glowing news segment promoting a 14-year-old girl named Ryland, whose parents began pushing her to dress like a boy when she was an infant.
“We highlight the story of Ryland Whittington, whose journey of transitioning at age five has been seen by 7 million people in a family YouTube video,” “America’s Newsroom” host Dana Perino began, introducing the segment. “[Correspondent] Bryan Llenas has a story about that family that hopes their experience can help others.”
The programming block was shown as part of the network’s advertised Pride Month series.
“Before Ryland could even speak, ‘he’ managed to tell his parents that he is a boy,” Fox News’s Bryan Llenas told viewers. This, he continued, inspired the parents to begin gender experimentation on the child.
Llenas concluded the section by praising the family’s “extraordinary courage” and thanking them for coming on the show, “particularly at a time when transgender issues have been politicized.”
“Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer when my conservative news outlets don’t encourage parents to trans their little children,” tweeted The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles.
“You’re done with me now,” angry viewer @stony2point0 tweeted. “Stop pushing the woke trans abuse of children. The media is the enemy of the people. That includes Fox News now too. Nobody needs your propaganda.”
“You’ll find no bigger defender of Fox News than me,” Twitter user @a_newsman wrote. “Especially opposing viewpoints on which differentiates it from all other cable and broadcast news. However this was a terrible decision given everything we know about the current social contagion of trans issues with children.”
Viewer @MOTT7 said he “couldn’t change the channel quick enough” when he realized what the segment was promoting.
“Unbelievable,” viewer @lizza_vb tweeted. “I was disgusted.”
Others noted how the network touted the gender experiments without any mention of the irreversible damage such as “sexual dysfunction, infertility, cardiac event[,] endometrial cancer,” and even transition regret among children and adults who participate.
“🚨Fox News just ran a segment on the joys of helping young children transition gender on ‘America’s Newsroom,’” @kr3at tweeted. “Fox News is now openly promoting child abuse.”
“Fox News has gone full groomer,” @WadeMiller_USMC tweeted. “‘California transgender teen, family hope to be an inspiration to others.’”
The segment comes at a time when the Republican base is eager to combat trans ideology, with politicians in states like Florida and Texas fighting back, and once-rising stars like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem tanked for not fighting hard enough.
Prominent conservative and Christian pundits jumped in as well. “Fox News promoting trans propaganda is something to behold. That’s gonna hurt the network more than calling Arizona for Biden,” radio host Erick Erickson predicted.
“I love @FoxNews and @DanaPerino but WTAF? This poor little girl will never have children and began transitioning before she could even consent to sexual activity,” tweeted Terry Schilling, president of American Principles Project, a think tank devoted to protecting the institution of family.
David Reaboi, a senior fellow at the prominent, conservative think tank Claremont Institute called the decision to run the segment “sick.”
At the same time Fox viewers expressed disappointment and anger on Twitter, the social media giant fought back, featuring a news bulletin in its side bar promoting “gender-affirming guidance for prepubescent children” even claiming the experiments are “noninvasive.”
The same family featured in Fox News’s controversial segment was also highlighted in a profile by CNN in 2015.
Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire and Fox News. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.