Since around 2017, it’s been very clear that if you hate trans people you can make up any old shite and have it printed or broadcast without anybody fact-checking it before, during or afterwards – and as a result, many anti-trans activists have taken full advantage of that to spread absolute bullshit with impunity. So it’s refreshing, albeit years overdue, to see some fact checking finally take place.
Irish newspaper The Journal did some fact checking of a claim made by anti-trans obsessive Graham Linehan on Newstalk radio. According to Linehan, if you search the crowdfunding site JustGiving and look for people crowdfunding top surgery, there are “nearly 38,000 girls” raising money for surgery.
The actual number of fundraisers is 38.
What the Journal has done here is not difficult, but despite fact-checking being fundamental to good journalism it’s incredibly rare: there continues to be an assumption that contributors are coming in good faith, an assumption that is widely abused by endless bad actors. Their success should shame the journalists, editors, presenters and producers who’ve let them get away with it so publicly for so long.