GLAAD and Equality Ohio are calling on Fox 19 (Cincinnati, OH) to condemn comments made by news anchor Tricia Mackie, who called MSNBC host Rachel Maddow an "Angry Young Man" in a Facebook comment. According to incident reports received by Equality Ohio, after a viewer expressed offense to the comment, Mackie stood by her characterization of Maddow as male, responding "you are right. I'm sorry, I should've said 'antagonistic.'"
When another person responded that, in the news business, sexual orientation is irrelevant, Mackie responded, "I knew what I was saying." The exchange appears to have been deleted from Mackie's Facebook page, but screenshots are below.
Referring to Maddow as a "man" because she is a gay woman is completely unacceptable for someone in the business of journalism.
Cincinnati viewers rely on Mackie and Fox 19 to deliver unbiased and fair reporting about the lives of LGBT people in their community. But this is someone who attempted to insult a gay woman by challenging her gender, then stated very clearly that she did so with complete awareness of her actions.
Tricia Mackie undoubtedly tried to insult Maddow because of their political differences, rather than simply because Maddow is gay. But her comments went much further than insulting Maddow's political leanings, and took issue with Maddow's gender, revealing an anti-gay (or at least anti-gender-nonconforming) bias underlying her political beliefs.
Fox 19 and its owner Raycom Media must take swift action to condemn Mackie's remarks, and Mackie must make a full apology. These steps are necessary for both Mackie and the station to prove they can be trusted to report objectively on issues that impact Cincinnati's LGBT community.
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