The royal baby, an 8 pound 6 ounce baby boy, was born on Monday afternoon, causing media outlets to reach a fever pitch. CNN, MSNBC, and FOX all broke in from existing programming to cover the event live. Chyrons on all major channels proclaimed, “It’s a Boy!” or “Duchess Catherine Gives Birth To A Son.” All day long, the networks ran picture-in-picture live feeds of the hospital where Kate was in labor.
But on CNN, one contributor — CNN Royal Contributor Victoria Arbiter — took the celebration a bit too far, offering her own insights into the relative merits of the baby’s sex:
My first thought, I have to say, was this is how brilliant a royal Kate is. There are women throughout British royal family history that have panicked not being able to deliver a boy, and here we are, Kate did it first time. So it does mean, of course, the change in the next succession conversation is over for another 30 years or so, but we’re celebrating and thrilled that Kate has had a healthy, bouncing baby boy.
In fact, the line of succession “conversation,” as Arbiter calls it, was decided earlier this year, when the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act made it so that the first child born — boy or girl — has a right to the throne. Though lawmakers are still working on implementing the law, it’s expected to go through.
CNN later referred back to their conversation about the baby’s gender, remarking that Kate had “really ticked all the boxes” by having a boy.
The network wasn’t alone in trying to draw conclusions from the sex of the baby. A member of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, Mary Kissel, also tweeted that the act of having a boy made Kate less of a feminist:
It's a boy. Does that make Kate an anti-feminist?
— Mary Kissel (@marykissel) July 22, 2013
Of course, Middleton, as a normal human woman, has absolutely no control over the sex of her baby.