CBS News executives reportedly told news staff Tuesday to remove all references of the perpetrator’s transgender identity from their coverage of the Nashville shooting that occurred earlier this week, according to The New York Post.
The media outlet allegedly informed staffers of the new directive Tuesday morning and has not mentioned 28-year-old Audrey Hale’s transgender status, identified by police Monday, since, according to The Post. A memo reportedly from Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews, the executive vice president of newsgathering, and Claudia Milne, the senior vice president of standards and practices, directed staff to “focus on other important points” of the investigation. (RELATED: Trans Activists Criticize Right-Wingers, Christians In Aftermath Of Nashville School Shooting)
“Right now we advise saying: POLICE IDENTIFIED THE SUSPECT AS A 28-YEAR-OLD AUDREY HALE, WHO THEY SHOT AND KILLED AT THE SCENE, [a]nd move on to focus on other important points of the investigation, community and solutions,” the memo read, according to The Post.
“The shooter’s gender identity has not been confirmed by CBS News [and] as such, we should avoid any mention of it as it has no known relevance to the crime,” the memo added. “Should that change, we can and will revisit.”
Nashville Metro Police Department (NMPD) Chief John Drake has said on multiple occasions that Hale, who used male pronouns and occasionally went by the name Aiden, identified as transgender and that it might have had something to do with Hale’s motive for the shooting. Despite this, CBS reportedly prohibited staffers from noting Hale’s identity in its coverage of the shooting, according to The Post.
A CBS spokesperson told The Post that they were waiting for the NMPD to release the manifesto.
“We are waiting to see the Manifesto and any details about motive,” the spokesperson said. “As we say in our guidance, we will then review and revise our reporting.”
The police have not announced if they will release Hale’s manifesto, which reportedly contains “writings” detailing the plan to attack the Christian elementary school. However, a local Nashville official told the DCNF on Thursday that the documents would be released to the public once the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit finished going through it and determined the official motive.
CBS did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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