I've made fun of the Seattle Times Editorial Board's Resident Idiot, Bruce Ramsay, before. I honestly have no idea how the man is still on the Times's payroll. He's an embarrassment. But his blog post today about Chelsea Manning is beyond the pale. Like all of Ramsay's writing, it's childlike and shallow, and it shows a dimwit's grasp of world affairs. But more importantly, it's a cruel personal attack on transgender rights, framed in the aw-shucks context of a "you've-gotta-laugh" story. It begins:
“Bradley Manning wants to live as a woman,” our story said. I burst out laughing.
Then there's a paragraph making fun of the photo of Chelsea Manning, which, "funniest of all," Ramsay notes, comes courtesy of the US Army. And then there's this:
“Be all you can be,” eh?
Now Manning wants the government to pay for conversion from M to F. The story quotes a Pentagon source saying that the United States Army does not provide sex-reassignment therapy. And the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality says, “In the United States it is illegal to deny health care to prisoners.”
Guess who wins.
Now correct me if I'm wrong—Ramsay's writing is so dumb that I might be misinterpreting what passes for his intent—but is Ramsay suggesting here that Manning is pulling some sort of a long con to get free gender-reassignment therapy? Is that really what Ramsay is insinuating? Is he trying to turn this conversation about whistleblowing and patriotism into a sniggering little hateful blog post appended with a lame argument against health care for prisoners? Does he really think that Chelsea Manning is "winning" this battle? Or is Ramsay just a doddering old fool who can't stand anyone who's not white, straight, and male? Is this drool on a napkin supposed to represent what the Times considers to be rational thought? (The Stranger has reached out to the Times for comment about this post, asking whether they'd condone this sort of writing about gay people, or African-Americans, or any other minority group.) Finally, and maybe most importantly, isn't it long past time to take this piece of shit "writer" out to the pasture for his retirement?
UPDATE 1:11 PM: On Twitter, Times writer Jonathan Martin distances himself from Ramsay's blog post:
@dominicholden An unfortunate post by colleague @BruceARamsey. Manning's transgender status no laughing matter.
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartin206) August 23, 2013
UPDATE 2:01 PM: Ramsay has posted a "clarification" that reads, in part:
Since posting this at 6:35 a.m., several readers have accused me of being a bigoted person, making fun of transgendered people. I did not intend that. I was not making fun of transgendered people as such.
Sorry, dumbass. I'm pretty sure that laughing at Chelsea Manning for identifying as a woman, which you do in the second sentence of the post and then continue to do throughout the piece, automatically qualifies as making fun of a transgendered person. Your "clarification" insinuates that there's some depth or subtlety to your piece, which is maybe the single most unbelievable thing I've heard all day.