In the eyes of some, two stories “debunked” the whistleblower’s claims last week — but the journalism in question is deeply flawed
Thank You. The issue has been grossly overcomplicated by the so called "culture wars".
This is not a complicated issue: when a child suffers from obesity, the first line of action should not be gastric bypass surgery.
When a child suffers from gender dysphoria, the first line of action should not be puberty blockers and surgery.
It disgusts me that adults are exploiting vulnerable kids to validate their own petty tribalism.
Thank you, Jesse. My daughter identified as trans for three years in her teens, and our experience with the gender clinic of a major urban hospital circa 2017 was consistent with Reed's account, with several serious comorbidities disregarded. We also had a case manager who was embedded in the medical team, so I knew that Jones was likely full of shit. My daughter has desisted and is doing well, but it took a good amount of sheer cussedness on my part to hold the forces of medicalization at bay. Thanks again for being practically the only voice on this subject who cares about truth and does the spade work of getting to it.
It’s been really dispiriting to see the responses to Reed’s accusations. It really does seem to boil down to, “This is so insane that only a rube or a bigot could believe it really happened.” Just zero curiosity, full confidence that it’s not just untrue but a wildly fallacious smear campaign. Makes you wonder how they’ll respond to whatever the AG’s investigation uncovers.
I'd bet anything that Reed spoke to you because she trusts that you wouldn't twist her words out of context. There's no way she should give the time of day to any other random reporter. Trusting a reporter nowadays is almost as dumb as trusting a cop. Keep your mouth shut and an attorney present.
This further shows how much guts Reed has. She knew the shit storm that was gonna happen. She spent a long time preparing, being observant, and most importantly, collecting those precious receipts.
Apart from anything about the merits of the accounts or the issues, this piece highlights how the combination of the eternal game of telephone (here, what was reported as “deliberate misgendering”) and of routine interpersonal/workplace BS being expressed in the language of civil rights is making the discourse so poisonous.
Great work as usual. I hope the lack of response from the Post-Dispatch doesn't indicate an attitude of "Who cares? It's only Substack. No one reads that (well, no one who matters...)."
So far I've read only the excerpts, not the whole "debunking" articles, but this Hutton quote jumped right out at me: "The idea that nobody got information, that everybody was pushed toward treatment, is just not true." Of course it isn't true, and that's not what Reed was claiming. I'm guessing that the reporter did not push back against or clarify this misrepresentation.
Was hoping you would chime in on Freddie Deboer's piece yesterday.
He seems to have vastly underplayed the medical scandal aspect while at the same time time excusing himself for misleading his readers because he's not an expert.
I live in STL and am watching this closely. My kids were patients at Wash U child psychiatry for years.
The defense of the center in local communities has been swift and amounts to:
1. You can’t trust anyone who associates with a right-wing transphobe like the Republican AG
2. She’s just a receptionist, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about
3. Reed is just a transphobe and it doesn’t matter than she’s married to a trans man, that’s just a reboot of “I can’t be racist, I have a black friend!”
4. This has been thoroughly “debunked” by these 2 stories
5. She’s giving cover for the genocide of trans kids
6. The patient who was hemorrhaging from a ruptured vagina (thinned by testosterone ) “probably just had extra vigorous sex”
7. Reed is lying, she even repeated a right wing meme about being an attack helicopter
8. She’s just mad about being fired [she wasn’t fired]
9. This is revenge for a bad review she got for being abusive and misgendering kids on purpose to give them a thick skin
10. She’s clearly being coached by right wing transphobes because she repeats the inflammatory description of a blocker as a “cancer drug.” Lol, like how people call Ivermectin a “horse dewormer” even though it’s used worldwide as one treatment option against malaria and other tropical infections?
Reed could be a big fat liar. The world is full of them. But the records should tell all. Why be hasty? If these people firmly believe or disbelieve her, some of them are going to look pretty dumb. Certainty at this stage one way or the other simply signals one’s own bias.
Patience is hard, especially for Gen Z loudmouths on Twitter.
This whole business with TransParent is very ironic given the amount of ink spilled against the NYT for not fully disclosing one of the people they talked to was part of a gender-critical group. What the paper here did is much worse, considering this person was their main source, and the person in the NYT article got like a single-sentence quote.
Wonderfully done here, Jesse. I also wonder how hard the reports on those other pieces actually looked for patients with negative outcomes or who might have felt rushed (even if the ensuing outcome wasn't necessarily negative).
As with all things in the news, the shoddy reporting by the two Missouri papers will go around the world and be held as definitive proof while reporting like this will barely be seen.
All I can say is that I’m glad I don’t have to make any decisions about trans healthcare. It seems like a really tough field to be working in at the moment. I do not envy these clinicians, the parents, or (especially) the patients.
Kind of a metacomment, but: yesterday I listened to an interview with Todd Rose on his recent book "Collective Illusions: Conformity, Complicity, and the Science of Why We Make Bad Decisions". Maybe I'm alone in never having heard of him before, but I thought it was one of the most interesting podcasts I've ever heard. It explained A LOT about why almost no one is ever going to change their mind about these issues irrespective of the evidence. I can't recommend this too highly: https://thehub.ca/2023-03-02/seeing-through-our-collective-illusions-todd-rose-on-the-science-of-why-we-make-bad-decisions/
a broken clock is correct twice a day. claims that some kids do OK on the "care" doesnt disprove the well documented proof that most dont. no kid can consent to this "care" becuase they cant imagine how they will feel when theyre 25 YO and are permanently harmed by this "care".
jamie reed's account matches the accounts of 1000's of others.
parents who advocate for this "care" have a huge financial intrest to do so. gender affirming "care" requires the option to receive astronomically expensive plastic surgery. who is going to pay for this optional vanity "care"? per these homophobic parents the tax payer must shell out. this is what all their politicking and statements are about . just another group at the tit of the gov
It's one thing for people to smear other people on social media (only to be expected perhaps given the disinhibiting effects of hiding behind the screen). But to see mainstream journalists--over and over!--just jumping to be first to smear a whistleblower because the information doesn't fit their tribal allegiance! Well, it's depressing (even though I know journalism has rarely reached the ideal of objectivity) that this is the kind of fight Jesse has to fight every day.
Copy edit: “ I pushed Jones a bit” should be Reed, not Jones.
Jesse, I think you're doing heroic work on standing up for accurate reporting and valid science on transgender issues, and you've paid the price by facing the activists' firehose of vitriol. I'm glad you're fighting against the tendency of these folks to combine shrillness, puritanism, and mob behavior in one depressing package.
And yet . . .
I have no right to declare myself your assignment editor, but sometimes I fear your constant focus on exposing the terrible shortfalls on the side of the activists and their supporters while (as far as I can tell) being fairly silent on the barrage of horrific anti-transgender bills put forth by red states is doing a disservice to the cause of tolerance and dignity for transgender of all ages that all of us here agree with.
You're hardly in the camp of the red state bigots but aiming your (totally justified!) fire at the one side may wind up giving the other side support they obviously do not deserve.
So keep up the good work you're doing, but if you'll be open to suggestion, every now and then help your readers and the public to understand more thoroughly what these politicians are doing.