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WATCH: Fox News Hosts Callously Mock Transgender Prisoner’s Appearance

On Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly had a few yucks at the expense of transgender prisoner Michelle Kosilek, who murdered her wife a decade ago when she was still known as Robert.

Aside from refusing to use the proper pronouns when referring to Kosilek (a Fox News trademark), O’Reilly and  Kelly — whom, Media Matters notes, has previously defended transgender people — mock her appearance and joke about the prospect of her being sexually assaulted.

O’Reilly: My question is, in the promo, couldn’t they do a better job for a million bucks than this guy? Look, there he is. For a million you figure he might look like Annette Funicello or somebody. I don’t know.

Kelly: Listen, let’s not forget.

O’Reilly: Yeah.

Kelly: He’s in a male prison.

O’Reilly: Alright, but I don’t think he’s in any danger-

Kelly: I bet he looks pretty good.

O’Reilly: No. Even in a male prison, he doesn’t. But for a million bucks, that’s what we get? I don’t know. Alright.

Kelly: The surgery hasn’t been performed yet, Bill.

O’Reilly: It hasn’t.

Kelly: He only has breasts and the hair now.

O’Reilly: I think that might be a little bit too much information.

First of all, prisoners have rights, too — no matter their crime — which, particularly as purported journalists, does not give O’Reilly and Kelly carte blanche to take a figurative dump over transgender people.

Second, according to Media Matters, transgender prisoners are at a much higher risk of sexual assault than the general prisoner population so, hardee-friggin-har-har.

And finally, Annette Funicello? What the hell is this, Beach Blanket Bigots?

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Jan 14, 2013
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 18 Comments
    • InscrutableTed
      InscrutableTed

      Annette Funicello? His pop culture references come from the 1950s.

      I guess I’m not surprised.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 8:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      O’Reilly looks like a paedophile, because he is.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 8:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent
      brent

      Where did they jump on all transgender people? Prisoners may have rights, but to a million dollar surgery. They can pay for that themselves.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eric Auerbach
      Eric Auerbach

      Oh, I’m sorry, did someone make fun of the wife-murderer? Boo fucking hoo.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danielle Hernández
      Danielle Hernández

      I have not been this disturbed or upset in quite a long time. It takes a lot to REALLY set me off and Mr. O’Reilly and ESPECIALLY Ms. Kelly have somehow succeeded. There was not a single word- a single thought- that lacked ignorance. Every single term they used was pulled out of the fifties and the jesting that partook in the end should warrant each of them to lose their job.
      As of right now DSM-V has not yet been released (which, in fact, probably made it easier to receive the money for the procedure) and so the appropriate term is still Gender Identity Disorder which Kelly did note. Also, transgendered individuals ARE still labeled as mentally ill right now (no quotation marks there), but in just a short period of time, as soon as DSM-V is released, this notion will be extinct. Gender Dysphoria will take its place and is already approved by the APA and will be categorized as a temporary state that can be cured through proper treatment (meaning reassignment, etc.).
      HOWEVER my point here is that, since right now they are correct in saying GID is a mental illness, then they were, on live television, COMMITTING LIBEL AND SLANDER AGAINST AN INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY WHICH IS IN CONFLICT WITH DEFAMATION LAWS and I wish I could say it was in conflict with the Americans With Disabilities Act, as well, but it unfortunately does not cover defamation.
      This then reminds me of the 2008 uproar when radio talk show host, Michael Savage, said of autistic children: “In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out.” This became an offense to the nation and the world when it happened largely because of the response from various autism advocacy groups. I think the same thing should happen here with Mr. O’Reilly and Ms. Kelly. This is too big and too egregious to ignore! It’s time the queer community take a stand and make this known! We need to (1) raise awareness (2) correct the wrongs made and (3) show the parallels and the [il]legality of their actions.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lgbt2013
      lgbt2013

      I am actually in full support of O’Reilly and Kelly on this one. I am a 26-year-old transwoman, fulltime medical student, non-criminal who cannot yet afford gender confirmation surgery. I have never killed anyone. I have had to work incredibly hard to be recognised as who I am, and I deserve to be recognised as who I am because I am decent member of society.

      Kosilek deserves a lifetime of punishment for murdering a human being in cold blood. In my opinion one of the greatest punishments of all would be to be a transwoman who NEVER gets to be recognised as a woman and who NEVER gets to have surgery…ANY surgery. Kosilek does NOT deserve to have a taxpayer-funded surgery when there are TENS OF THOUSANDS of us non-criminal, decent, hardworking trans people out here who cannot afford the surgery, and many of us who never will.

      Kosilek is neither a male nor female. Kosilek is a monster, and deserves to be exactly where ze is, and ze definitely should not be REWARDED with a vagina.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danielle Hernández
      Danielle Hernández

      @lgbt2013: Yet, who knows? Perhaps receiving confirmation of who she is and being able to become the person she needs to be might be excellent rehabilitation which is what should be, in my opinion, the focus of prisons no matter how egregious the crime. Prison is NOT a place where people are left to rot. It is a place where they are kept from hurting society and are given the chance to reflect and hopefully recover.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lgbt2013
      lgbt2013

      @Danielle Hernández: Yes, but Kosilek is in prison for life for murder. It’s not like she is in there for theft or DUI. She took a life in cold blood, and therefore does not deserve the life or body she wants. She is not there to be rehabilitated. She’s there to serve out the rest of her life.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 12:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danielle Hernández
      Danielle Hernández

      @lgbt2013: Well I understand and respect your point, but I am personally a proponent for doing at least something positive for prisoners, regardless of their sentence. If they were to be locked up for life with no purpose, then why are they bothering to keep them alive? It’s a difficult and tricky argument, but that is where I stand on it.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 12:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lgbt2013
      lgbt2013

      @Danielle Hernández: It is tricky. I agree. I am just upset because I know so many wonderful trans people who cannot afford surgery, including myself. I cannot bring myself to accept that Kosilek should have the surgery paid for by me and others like me.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danielle Hernández
      Danielle Hernández

      @lgbt2013: Absolutely. I really hate insurance companies for that. There is so much foul play on their parts and they really need to be taking the reins on the transition surgery issue. What’s worse, is that when it changes from GID to gender dysphoria in their books, it will be even harder to convince them that it’s their obligation to cover it.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      @lgbt2013: I had a hard time reasoning it out, but I eventually decided that she should get the surgery. She is in jail for the rest of her life, and that is the punishment that our judicial system has agreed upon for this case. I think that then “enhancing” that punishment by not allowing her to have a surgery that doctors have prescribed should then fall under the category of “cruel and unusual punishment”, unless she is getting her sentence reduced to reflect that a portion of it has been served by living outside of her gender identity. I don’t like being in a position where I’m morally on the same side as a convicted killer, and in no way to I support or condone what she did, but I also don’t like the idea that medical or psychological conditions can be used to post facto increase the level of punishment a convict faces.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Will L
      Will L

      Boy, we seem to be split on this one. I am dead against paying for the surgery. If the family wants to pay for it, fine. Allowing her to cross dress is more than she deserves. It’s not like she’s going to use the new equipment if she got it.

      The ridicule of her appearance is uncalled for, though. I’ve seen some pretty ugly women (and men) in my life but you shouldn’t focus on that – period. A person is a person.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 8:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChiChi Man
      ChiChi Man

      @Will L: I’m with you. Even if I don’t support paying for the surgery, if the murderer identifies as female, then I’d refer to her as a female — and I wouldn’t mock her appearance.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      @Will L: I mean this with no animus: how is this different from providing any other non-emergency care to people serving a life sentence? Courtshavefound that tone a constitutional right under the 14th amendment, fwiw.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 8:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      @Thedrdonna: ugh, iPhone:”courts have found that to be”

      Jan 14, 2013 at 8:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Will L
      Will L

      @Thedrdonna: Don’t get me wrong. I’ll all for the surgery “if the family wants to pay for it”. I only object to the state picking up the tab for such as this. You know, I’d like a little nip and tuck to feel better about myself. It really depresses me to get old. You gonna pay for that? I didn’t think so and wouldn’t expect you to. This sense of entitlement when a person is locked up for murder is out of hand. (And, quite honestly, “courts have found that to be a constitutional right” doesn’t make it right.)

      Jan 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      @Will L: OK, you are fully free to disagree with the courts. I happen to believe that leaving non-emergency medical conditions untreated in prisoners constitutes “extra punishment” above and beyond the court-ordered punishment of incarceration. Also, saying that stating a facelift for age-related purposes is the same as gender reassignment is kind of awful and really trivializes the plight that trans folks face. Being trans is not elective.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 11:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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