Sacramento Bee Apologizes for Saying Charlie Kirk Called to ‘Lynch’ Transgenders

Charlie Kirk speaking with attendees at the 2018 Young Women's Leadership Summit hosted by
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The Sacramento Bee, a Northern California-based newspaper, has apologized for falsely claiming that Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk called to “lynch” transgenders.

Charlie Kirk had been scheduled to speak at the University of California Davis on Tuesday when  Sacramento Bee opinion writer Hannah Holzer called the activist “another fascist” and said that he wanted to lynch transgender people.

“Among his most atrocious comments, Kirk suggested transgender people, who he has referred to as ‘garbage,’ ought to be lynched,” Holzer wrote.

Holzer also called Kirk a “vocal transphobe and Donald Trump fanatic” who has “turned controversy into money for years.”

Holzer based her opinion on an out-of-context clip from Charlie Kirk’s show in which he said that the fact of  transgenders changing in a woman’s locker room needs to be taken care of “the way we used to take care of things in the 1950s and 60s.”

The Bee further pushed Holzer’s claims on its social media pages when it tweeted, “Charlie Kirk has called for the lynching of trans people, a comment that should warrant the cancellation of his speaking engagement at UC Davis.”

Kirk said he never called for the lynching of transgenders and threatened to sue the newspaper for libel.

“This is defamation and libel. We will sue unless it is corrected,” Kirk tweeted. “Left-wing rags like the SacBee are allowed to platform lies against conservatives and get away with it. Time for lawfare.” He added:

Here’s THE TRUTH Swimmer Riley Gaines joined my show and told how Lia Thomas exposed himself in the girls’ locker room. I said we ‘should go back to the 50s and 60s’ meaning local law enforcement would have interceded, or parents would have boycotted the event.

“I NEVER once used the word ‘lynching’ nor did it even cross my mind. In fact, I called specifically for PEACE, but they don’t want you to see that part,” he concluded.

After Kirk threatened to sue, the Sacramento Bee eliminated the “lynching” line and switched the headline to say “far-right” instead of fascist:

An earlier version of this column included a statement that Charlie Kirk had ‘called for the lynching of trans people.’ The basis for this accusation is a video clip in which Kirk was upset that a trans woman had won an NCAA swimming championship. In the clip, Kirk said that instead of letting the woman compete, ‘Someone should have took (sic) care of it the way we used to take care of things in the 1950s and 60s.’

The Bee continued:

Some trans advocates on social media extrapolated from Kirk’s comments that he called for trans people to be lynched – an accusation The Bee repeated. But a review of the video shows that Kirk never advocated for trans people to be lynched. In fact, he strongly denies the accusation. These notes have been added to the column. The Bee regrets its comments and we apologize for any misunderstanding this earlier version may have caused.

The newspaper further used Kirk’s entire quote and said, “Some trans activists wondered if Kirk was referring to potential violence associated with mid-century America, but he strongly denied this on Twitter.”


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