By Parker Marie Molloy
Originally published on Advocate.com May 30 2014 4:27 PM ET
On Thursday, Washington, D.C., Fox affiliate WTTG turned to the station's chief investigative reporter, Emily Miller, to discuss Maryland's recently passed transgender nondiscrimination law, known as the Fairness for all Marylanders Act.
What neither the station nor Miller disclosed was that just last month, as senior editor of conservative paper The Washington Times, Miller penned a scathing op-ed against the bill. Miller's other professional credentials include her 2013 book Emily Gets Her Gun: ...But Obama Wants to Take Yours.
"Maryland moms and dads will now have to be more vigilant when their children use public bathrooms," Miller wrote last month in The Washington Times. "It will soon be legal for a man who simply says he identifies as a woman to use the ladies' room."
Miller went on to write, "This serious risk for sexual assaults of women and little girls is all in the name of political correctness," and made repeated use of unnecessary "scare quotes" around the term "transgender."
Those assertions are provably false but remain a common scare tactic used by those who oppose equal access for transgender people. The claims put forward in Miller's op-ed closely resemble the debunked talking points often used by conservative organizations and antitransgender activists, prompting progressive media watchdog organization Media Matters to call out Miller's lies.
Miller took to Twitter to respond to those critiques:
So Media Matters says I'm "transphobic fear-mongering" -- whatever that means. http://t.co/ahwe0pkICE
— Emily Miller (@EmilyMiller) April 3, 2014
MD. Gov. O'Malley just signed the bill that lets men go in women's bathrooms... part of transgender nondiscrimination.
— Emily Miller (@EmilyMiller) May 15, 2014
Despite the fact that Miller's report for WTTG was presented as a straight news story — not an opinon piece — Miller recycled the same claims employed in her op-ed in her supposedly unbiased local news report.
"Governor O'Malley signed the law despite controversy over the fact that 'public accommodations' means that men who identify as women will be allowed to use women's bathrooms," Miller began her TV report. "On a national level, people agree with not discriminating but disagree with the bathroom issue," Miller continued, citing a problematically worded poll from conservative data collector Rasmussen.
Her investigative report included a "man on the street" segment, in which Miller continued to misrepresent the facts behind the law. After one of Miller's interview subjects expressed support for the bill — sharing the sentiment of 71 percent of Marylanders, according to the latest polling data — Miller interjected, "Men can go into women's bathrooms. How do you feel about that?"
The segment concluded with Republican delgate Neil Parrott — the man behind efforts to repeal the measure — making the false claim that Maryland is only the second state to have such a law, when in reality it is the 18th.
Watch Miller's report below.
DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG