The Transgender Community's New Enemy No. 1
The gay editor of Outsports came out as a Republican in reaction to the indictment of former president Donald Trump. Plus: WWE is merging with UFC. And: The woman and the Black man going to the moon!
Hello and welcome to the first Monday of April 2023, the 3rd. On this day in 1860, the Pony Express debuted. While that isn’t how anyone sends news these days, hopefully, you’ll forgive today’s newsletter arriving a few hours later than usual! The ponies needed to sleep in and it’s been a busy day.
Here Now the News
BREAKING! WWE HAS AGREED TO MERGE WITH UFC TO CREATE A NEW PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANY: CNBC broke the news this morning that Endeavor will own a 51% stake in the new combat sports and entertainment company, while WWE shareholders will have the remaining 49%.
The deal values WWE at $9.3 billion and UFC, which is owned by Endeavor, at $12.1 billion.
Ari Emanuel will act as chief executive of both Endeavor and the new company, the companies said.
Vince McMahon, likewise, will be executive chairman, while Endeavor President and COO Mark Shapiro will also work in the same roles at the new company.
Dana White will remain as president of UFC, and WWE CEO Nick Khan will stay on as president of the wrestling business.—CNBC
FORMER PRESIDENT’S PLANE DEPARTS FLORIDA: Palm Beach Post
WHAT IF THE JUDGE ISSUES A GAG ORDER? —Forbes
NYC BRACES FOR TRUMP INDICTMENT, POTENTIAL PROTESTS: NYT
TRUMP CLAIMS NYC JUDGE HEARING HIS CASE “HATES” HIM: Washington Post
GOP DIVIDED ON HOW TO RESPOND TO TRUMP INDICTMENT: The Hill
Here Is What Lesley Stahl Should Have Said
HOW THE 60 MINUTES CORRESPONDENT COULD HAVE PUSHED BACK AT REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE: A simple search on Google of “pedophiles transgender” yields this statement by the Anti-Defamation League: “Anti-LGBTQ+ extremists have misappropriated a legitimate term related to sexual abuse in order to demonize LGBTQ+ people.” —ADF
And there’s this from NBC News that Leslie Stahl or her producers could have mentioned: “Greene has been an outspoken opponent of transgender rights during her time in office. In her first year in Congress.
Greene placed a sign outside of her office mocking a Democratic lawmaker whose daughter is transgender after the Democrat hung a transgender Pride flag next to her door…
Greene co-sponsored legislation to ban U.S. embassies from flying the LGBTQ+ Pride flag…
Greene supported the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, also heckled President Joe Biden during his State of the Union speech in February and drew backlash after she called for the U.S. to have a ‘national divorce’ to separate red and blue states…” Why didn’t Stahl go there? -NBC News
INSTEAD, AFTER JUST ONE INSTANCE OF PUSH-BACK, THE VETERAN CORRESPONDENT SIMPLY ROLLED HER EYES AND SAID, “WOW.”
THERE’S HISTORY HERE: STAHL REPORTED ON DETRANSITIONERS IN 2021 FOCUSED ON A TINY MINORITY INSTEAD OF THE MAJORITY OF HAPPILY-TRANSITIONED PEOPLE —CBS News
True Colors (MAGA Red Edition)
OUTSPORTS CO-FOUNDER CHOOSES TO PUBLICLY SUPPORT THE GOP AND ANTI-LGBTQ GOV. RON DeSANTIS: On Thursday, Cyd Zeigler, the out gay co-founder and current editor of Outsports, a VoxMedia site dedicated to covering LGBTQ+ sports —where I was managing editor for 2 1/2 years —tweeted that the indictment of former President Donald Trump had convinced him to register as a Republican.
Then he tweeted some more, publicly thanking Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis, sharing the GOP governor’s Twitter handle in a tacit endorsement and attacking the Human Rights Campaign. Reaction to this “coming out” was swift, and with rare exception, negative. A gay coach, a former Trump aide and Zeigler’s sister spoke out in his defense.
And Zeigler has only doubled down on the criticism, attacking those who reacted — let’s say, “strongly” — to his decision:
In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Blade, where I am the sports editor, Rob Watson called Zeigler a “Tucker,” meaning Tucker Carlson of Fox News, and called the sportswriter out for choosing to side with the GOP and Gov. DeSantis over “a group of our most vulnerable — our LGBTQ kids who are getting the steely betrayal.” —The Los Angeles Blade
The Advocate’s editor, John Casey, wrote an op-ed titled The Editor of Outsports Turns On Our Community, and acknowledged an important fact: “Zeigler is free to join any party he likes, and support any candidate he wants; however, when you have the power of the pen, and a voice in the fight for equality, you have an extra burden and responsibility to do what is right for those who you write about and cover. And especially to your readers, many of whom, as athletes, are afraid to come out because of DeSantis and bills like ‘don’t say gay.’” —The Advocate
MY TAKE: I agree with Mr. Casey and that’s why today’s newsletter brands Zeigler as the trans community’s public enemy No. 1. And to choose to do this on the eve of the Trans Day of Visibility? Talk about tone deafness. In the last few days, I have been contacted by dozens of people I know through my work at Outsports and the Blade, and seen the chatter among sportswriters, sports figures and LGBTQ+ advocates and activists. People in the community said Outsports’ annual TDOV tweet-storm of stories about trans sports heroes rang hollow this year.
I’ve also reached out to the current Outsports team of freelancers, every one of whom I hired, with the exception of Cyd’s co-founder, Jim Buzinski. I contacted him and the former assistant managing editor, Alex Reimer, and their boss at Vox Media, Melissa Bell. And of course I reached out to Cyd, too. I even reached out to some former staffers.
Our conversations were private and personal and I am aching over what they are going through, because the average Joe sees Cyd’s tweets and thinks he’s speaking for Outsports. He’s NOT. Vox Media policy was that employees were entitled to personally tweet anything they wished, back when I worked for them — and for the sake of Cyd, his husband and their cats, I hope that’s still the case! But it appears Cyd did at least once make the mistake of engaging with one of his critics from the official Outsports account:
UPDATE: I’m still soliciting on-the-record comments and received a few, and this afternoon I heard back from Zeigler himself, who promised he’d explain himself in an op-ed tomorrow. If that happens, I will have more to say here and at the Blade. Until then, please: Keep supporting the writers at Outsports, who are all freelancers and wonderful people. They should not be punished for one man’s hubris and his choice of political affiliation.
RUSSIA DETAINS WOMAN SUSPECTED IN DEADLY BOMBING: CNBC
BRITTNEY GRINER CALLS FOR RUSSIA TO RELEASE US JOURNALIST: NPR
JAPAN BREAKS WITH U.S. AND BUYS OIL FROM RUSSIA: Wall Street Journal
FINLAND TO JOIN NATO: CNBC
DEADLY FUNGUS OUTBREAK SPREADS TO NEVADA: The Review Journal
STUDY: MODERATE DRINKING IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU: Slash dot org
PHILLY SUBURB TOPS THE TEN BEST PLACES IN THE U.S. TO LIVE: CNBC
PRO-GENDER-AFFIRMING CARE OP-ED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES: Trailblazer Dr. Marci Bowers writes, “Anti-treatment bills will not protect children, and they will not help the medical community provide better care for patients in need. We should instead take anti-transgender legislation for what it is: thinly veiled cruelty to a specific minority population of the country.” —NYT
ANTI-TRANS LEGISLATIVE MAP FOR APRIL: Erin Reed’s Erin In The Morning
A FIRST FOR UK FOOTBALL: TRANS MEN PLAY CISGENDER MEN —Los Angeles Blade
JK ROWLING’S PRODUCTION COMPANY REPORTS 74% DROP IN PROFITS AFTER HER ANTI-TRANS STANCE: MovieWeb
ANTI-TRANS ACTIVIST POSIE PARKER VOWS TO RETURN TO NEW ZEALAND AFTER BEING PELTED WITH TOMATO JUICE: Stuff
News from Spaaaace
NASA ANNOUNCES THE FIRST ASTRONAUTS TO RETURN TO THE MOON: Three Americans, one Canadian, including the first woman and first Black man to orbit the moon! —NYT
CHINESE ROVER DISCOVERS BEADS ON MOON THAT MAY CONTAIN WATER: Yahoo News
JAMES WEBB TELESCOPE DISCOVERS NEW PLANET: Live Science
Star Trek Corner
TRANSGENDER REPRESENTATION IN STAR TREK: Trek Central
PREVIEW OF STAR TREK PICARD PART 8: SURRENDER: TrekMovie
PICARD SHOWRUNNER TEASES TREK TWITTER WITH “VADIC REVEAL:”
Image courtesy of @knazzer
HOW TO VIEW THE ENTIRE SEASON OF STAR TREK PICARD AND PAST STAR TREK EPISODES: Click here to subscribe to Paramount+
That’s all for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another look at the news, hopefully in the morning, so you can rise up and start your day. Until then… May your news be good news!
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