Fox News, Rupert Murdoch’s Republican mouthpiece, has been criticised for a segment on Chelsea Manning, the US Army private sentenced to 35 years last week for the handing confidential materials to WikiLeaks.
Following the sentencing, Manning released a statement saying that she was a woman and wanted to be known from thereon in as Chelsea Manning.
Leading into the commercial break during Fox and Friends on Tuesday, the broadcast screened pictures of Manning as both man and a woman while playing ‘Dude Looks Like A Lady’ by Aerosmith.
The mocking of Manning followed Fox’s earlier insistence that they would continue to refer to the Private as "he" despite Manning's request, with Gregg Jarrett, the hosts of America’s Newsroom, blustering: “I don’t do what Bradley Manning wants me to do. People out there, don't send me angry emails that I referred to him as Bradley and not Chelsea and him instead of her.”
In Manning’s statement, released last week, the 25-year-old said. "I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible."
Most news organisations in the US have adopted a policy whereby they refer to Manning with the feminine pronoun, but not all with CNN saying they would not make the switch as Manning had "not yet taken any steps toward gender transition through surgery or hormone replacement therapy".