Whoever is at the steering wheel of HuffPost in the past 12 hours is clearly taking a snooze.
In a story published Friday night, just 6 minutes after the ABC Diane Sawyer interview with Olympian and reality star Bruce Jenner began, HuffPost wrote the most obvious headline imaginable:
“Bruce Jenner Comes Out As Transgender.”
America knew this eons ago. But fine, whatever. He made it official.
But then HuffPost, a lefty site, avoided all mention of Bruce’s big news of the night: He’s conservative and a Christian. It’s nowhere to be found in the site’s story. The news wasn’t revealed until much later in the two-hour interview. But HuffPost can’t add or update its stories?
In a whopping eight stories on the site, including a slideshow called “15 Things To Know About Being Transgender,” there is absolutely zero mention of Bruce being a Republican.
But they do have time to mention just about everything else. In the slideshow, HuffPost generously offers advice about how to react when someone comes out as transgender. Essentially that advice is: Don’t be a dick.
“Ask what questions, if any, are appropriate. Give the trans person an out if they feel you are overstepping your bounds (even though your questions may be born of an innocent curiosity). This makes it easier for a trans person to maintain privacy and integrity.”
Another tidbit: HuffPost says “sex change” surgery has been changed to the “less harsh sounding” verbiage of “sex reassignment surgery.”
The other big oddity is HuffPost‘s obvious confusion about Bruce and pronouns.
Is he no longer a “he” because he says she’s a “her” in his soul? Or is he no longer a he when and if (and this is a big if) he decides to surgically replace his penis with a vagina? (He’s in hormone therapy and is getting the breasts, but so far, the jury is still undecided on the other distinguishing detail of a woman’s body that Bruce himself referred to as a “vajayjay” in the interview. It’s tempting to a make a hung jury joke here, but I’ll refrain.)
How society and journalism will address the issue of which pronoun is most proper is all too new to conclude.
But this is how HuffPost handled it.
The site avoided it entirely in the first two sentences, referring to Jenner as “Bruce Jenner” and “the 65-year-old.” But at some point, you have to just take the plunge: He or she?
HuffPost couldn’t decide. So they went both ways.
In the third and fourth sentences of the story, which were quotes, Bruce was “he.” They also lowercased the “i.” But we’ll chalk that up to a typo and not indicative of anything involving his gender.
But this is where the twist happens.
For the rest of HuffPost‘s story, Bruce is suddenly, defiantly a SHE and a HER.
A later, clearly further edited version of the story switches things up entirely. Instead of addressing the he, she, her, him issues, HuffPost completely ignores them. For example that first quote has been changed to “Jenner said.”
Then in paragraph 5, the sentence reads, “Absolutely,” he said.
More “he’s” are now sprinkled throughout. HUH?
At the conclusion of its story, HuffPost explained itself regarding Bruce and pronouns.
Ahh…ok. So Bruce will let us know how to phrase things.