GLAAD Calls Out WJBK for ‘Disturbing’ Report on Hate Crimes

By Mark Joyella 

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 1.32.52 PMA report aired on Fox-owned WJBK in Detroit has been described as “especially disturbing” by GLAAD, the LGBT media advocacy group. According to a post by GLAAD’s Dani Heffernan, several Detroit reporters used language that is considered discriminatory in their stories about a series of shootings being investigated as hate crimes. The victims were transgender women.

WXYZ’s story includes a banner describing the victims as “transgender men”, while the web story describes the victims as “transgender women.”

GLAAD said WJBK’s story was the most troubling:

The coverage from WJBK Detroit, a local Fox News affiliate, was especially disturbing. While the written story does not misgender the victims, the broadcast segment does, and it promotes the stereotype that transgender women are not who they say they are. Even worse, rather than hearing from friends and family of the victims, the report includes commentary from complete strangers who did not know the victims, but who nevertheless make gross speculations about the victims’ lives.

GLAAD has reached out to WJBK repeatedly about this problematic coverage, but the station has not responded.

In the WJBK story, the victims are described simply as “men who dressed like women”, and notes the neighborhood has “long been associated with gay, bisexual and transgender lifestyles.” Reporter Ron Savage has no interviews with police or others, but includes an MOS interview with a cab driver who suggests the victims may have been drug users or prostitutes, though this is not backed with information from police or any other source.

Watch the story here:

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