White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre faced backlash late this week after falsely claiming during a White House press briefing that Daily Wire host Michael Knowles called for the “eradication of transgender people” during a speech at CPAC.
During her comments to reporters, Jean-Pierre referenced Knowles’ speech last Saturday when he called for the “eradication” of radical gender ideology. Several Left-wing media outlets which initially claimed that Knowles called for the “eradication” of people, not an ideology, later corrected their reporting. But Jean-Pierre, just before misrepresenting Knowles’ words, said the White House must “call out the shameful, hateful, and dangerous attacks that we have been seeing on the LGBTQI community.”
“Look, it started with a speaker at a conservative conference calling for the eradication of transgender people,” Jean-Pierre falsely claimed.
Knowles responded on Twitter by asking Jean-Pierre, “why are you lying about what I said?”
Several major conservative figures defended Knowles in response to Jean-Pierre’s false claims.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) tweeted: “The White House and @PressSec have become experts at spewing misinformation and lies. They want to scare Americans into submission. @michaeljknowles”
The White House and @PressSec have become experts at spewing misinformation and lies.
They want to scare Americans into submission. @michaeljknowles https://t.co/4vBqTLwc64
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) March 10, 2023
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, “For all of their BS crying and smears of Tucker for courageously reporting on the J6 footage, no group of people routinely and knowingly misrepresents the truth to fit their fictional narratives more than the Biden White House.”
For all of their BS crying and smears of Tucker for courageously reporting on the J6 footage, no group of people routinely and knowingly misrepresents the truth to fit their fictional narratives more than the Biden White House. https://t.co/PZgiM19RER
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 11, 2023
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) defended Knowles in response to a question from the far-Left publication New Republic, saying, “By transgenderism, I assume he means the ideology of suggesting to kids who are suffering anxiety, depression, or what have you that there’s something fundamentally wrong with their bodies and they need to change their gender.”
“We’re having that debate in Missouri right now about whether we should push kids toward gender reassignment surgery,” he added. “I think no, no, no, no, no, no.”
During the CPAC speech, Knowles argued that gender ideology is built on false premises about the human condition and that it could not be imposed or indulged in any context without granting credence to those premises, which undermines the foundations of society itself.
“For the good of society and especially for the good of the poor people who have fallen prey to this confusion, transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely, the whole preposterous ideology — at every level,” Knowles said.
Left-wing outlets and Democrat politicians quickly reacted in outrage to Knowles’ speech, misconstruing his comments as targeting individuals, not an ideology. The Daily Wire promptly demanded retractions and apologies from Rolling Stone, Yahoo News, Huffington Post, and The Daily Beast over their coverage of his speech.
The Daily Beast edited its original headline, which stated Knowles called for the “transgender community” to be eradicated, to reflect that the podcast host called for eradicating “transgenderism,” not people who believe they are transgender. Rolling Stone made a similar update.
Knowles told Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson on Monday night that he was surprised by the media headlines, and a California lawmaker who accused him of calling for “genocide.”
“I have been called all sorts of nasty things by the liberal press, Tucker, so I tend to expect everything,” Knowles began, conceding, “But I have to admit being accused of genocide did take me by surprise.”