Complete fiction

I’ve been away for a bit, and while I was out of the country we had yet another completely invented scandal around trans people. This time it was around the new Scottish hate crime legislation, which does not make it an offence to misgender trans people. Despite it not being an offence to misgender trans people, it has been widely reported that the law would make it an offence to misgender trans people.

Here’s Assigned Media.

Presenter Justin Webb began his interview with the member of Scottish Parliament by asking, “Is misgendering a crime under this act?” Brown’s answer? “No. Not misgendering. Not at all.”

…During their back and forth, Brown explains that if a report of a hate crime is made it would be the police’s job to determine if a crime has taken place.

The latter doesn’t contradict the former, but that didn’t stop pretty much the entire UK press from reporting that misgendering was now a hate crime despite – as I may have mentioned – misgendering not being a hate crime.

Bad faith scaremongering about legislation is a favourite tactic of the evangelical right, and in Scotland we previously saw it over the smacking ban – which, child-whacking arseholes told us, would see the prisons full of parents wrongly convicted of assaulting their kids. It’s also been used to attack women’s and LGBTQ+ people’s rights in other countries, such as in Spain.

As ever, it doesn’t matter if the press amplifies bullshit through malevolence or incompetence, because the result is the same: newspapers and broadcasters are misleading their readers, listeners and viewers and doing real damage in the process.