Accuracy in Media

In a recent news article (not an opinion piece) about South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s executive orders on fairness in women’s sports, CNN reporter Devan Cole stated that, “It’s not possible to know a person’s gender identity at birth, and there is no consensus criteria for assigning sex at birth.”

It’s a bold claim. Millions of babies are born and assigned a sex at birth every single year, which undermines the idea that there is “no consensus criteria” for it. 

Even with that inconvenient truth aside, CNN itself was assigning sex at birth in its own articles just days prior to claiming that it’s impossible to do so. Jack Crowe of the National Review pointed out that on March 28, CNN published an article about Hillary Duff welcoming her third child. In the article, CNN identifies the baby as a girl.

From the article: “Hilary Duff welcomed her third child, a girl named Mae James Bair. The former Disney Channel star shared a photo of her newborn daughter on Instagram.” The article then goes on to explain that Duff even published a book about her experience as a mother, titled “My Brave Little Girl.”

Just a day before that, CNN published an article about Bindi Irwin giving birth to her first child, wherein they also identify the baby’s gender. “The ‘Crikey! It’s the Irwins’ star and her husband, Chandler Powell, announced the arrival of their first child together, daughter Grace Warrior Irwin Powell, on Instagram.”

How can CNN justify publishing back-to-back articles announcing the births of baby girls, then publish a news piece stating that it’s impossible to know a person’s gender identity at birth? If that claim was simply the author’s opinion, then it should not have appeared in a news piece. Passing off opinion as fact is misleading and disingenuous. 




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