Stacking the Deck

The author misreports an event using slanted language and one-sided storytelling

Crenshaw grills Dem witness over failure to name one study citing benefits of surgeries for trans kids


„Which journal says something different? We should have that debate. Tell me a journal that has done systematic reviews that cites different evidence, that cites strong evidence of benefits for these therapies,“ he said.

“McNamara responded, „The standards of care were developed based on extensive—“

„You’re not telling me any study, don’t say ‚standards of care,'“ Crenshaw interjected. „Tell me one.“

„So, um, the standards of care,“ McNamara said.

„The standards of care,“ Crenshaw questioned. „That’s not a journal, that’s not a study. That’s not an organization. That’s not an institution. You’re just saying words. Name one study.“

McNamara failed to name a specific study prior to Crenshaw’s time expiring.

SOURCE: Morris, Kyle. (15 June 2023). “Crenshaw grills Dem witness over failure to name one study citing benefits of surgeries for trans kids,” Fox News. Accessed from


This article provides a written interpretation of an exchange between a conservative politician and a medical witness on the subject of medical care for transgender minors. Rather than objectively reporting the encounter, the author turns to slanted language and one-sided story-telling to present a clear “winner” of the debate. For example, the author carefully quotes the words of the Republican senator while more often replacing the medical witness’s words with a shortened summary. This unbalanced presentation of the encounter gives more weight—and thus credibility—to the questioner than the respondent. The author also transcribes transitional words (such as “like” and “um”) for the witness and omits these words from the senator’s speech to create a sense of uncertainty or confidence in the actors respectively.

The biggest issue with the article’s credibility, however, is the strategic use of only a small portion of the exchange between the politician and the doctor. By cutting the interaction short, the author reshapes the encounter to have a clear victor. Nowhere in the article or the enclosed news clip can the reader find the medical witness’ full response to the questioning. In this way, the author stacks the deck against the doctor by presenting only one side of the exchange.

about the source:

This article was posted to the online news channel, Fox News, a conservative American news outlet. Although much of the site’s hard news reporting is factual, the news coverage is clearly biased in favor of highly politicized issues and stories that patronize the opposing political side. The target group for this kind of reporting is readers who already agree with the news outlet’s political orientation.


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