Dr. Keith Ablow has a long and nasty record of saying unpleasant and inaccurate things about sexual orientation, gender identity, and the media. He’s insulted Chaz Bono, calling him a “very disordered person”; speculated darkly that a J. Crew ad will sow widespread gender confusion among children; and declared that prison normalizes homosexuality. As my colleagues at ThinkProgress have repeatedly pointed out, it’s an embarrassment that a serious news network would give this much space and airtime to someone whose idea have as much science behind them as patent medicine.
But Ablow’s association with the network does mean we got to see his colleague Megyn Kelly, who periodically pops up to say something awesome about, say, the medieval state of maternity leave in the United States, absolutely dismantle Ablow’s claims that Bono’s participation in Dancing With the Stars will convince legions of American children that they’re not comfortable with the gender they were born into (and also that transitioning is like giving liposuction to an anorexic):
While I don’t think that anyone’s going to switch their gender identity because Chaz Bono is a public figure appearing on a dance show, I’d stop short of saying it’s a totally neutral act. If the somewhat older audience for Dancing With the Stars watches the show and realizes that Chaz Bono is just another guy going through the same process of making himself vulnerable and awkward as all the other candidates, and as a result, feels like transgender people are a little less foreign, that strikes me as a pretty good thing.
It would be wonderful if Fox didn’t credential Ablow by counting him as part of their medical team. But I do think there’s real value in giving folks who believe the same noxious, fictional things that he does some airtime so they can be exposed as the hateful frauds they are. Good for Megyn Kelly for pointing out just how specious his theories about media influence are, and even more importantly, asking, “Isn’t there enough hate?” And good for Bono for refusing to give Fox interviews and refusing to play Fox’s two-faced game, bashing people one day and expecting them to play nice the next.