Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill chided Piers Morgan on the British host's CNN program on Wednesday for his apparent lack of sensitivity towards transgendered author Janet Mock during a recent interview. Hill acknowledged that Morgan was an "ally" of LGBT actvists, but claimed that his interview of Mock was akin to Mitt Romney's supposed gaffe about hiring women: "It's like when white people point to the number of black friends they have, or men talk about the binders full of women that they've hired."
When Amy Holmes of TheBlaze.com and conservative radio host Ben Ferguson challenged the left-wing academic for rebuking Morgan, Hill inadvertently exposed the ideological extremism of post-modern gender theory – especially its tendency to deny biological reality: [MP3 audio available here ; video below]
MARC LAMONT HILL: ...[F]or me Piers, the bigger issue isn't the use of language. It's the fact that so much of the interview centered around the sensational aspects – about genitalia. There's so much more about trans life, trans experience, that I wanted you to cover....
MORGAN: No, wait a minute – wait a minute, okay?...I never mentioned her genitalia at all ever in either interview. You're the first to mention. I didn't mention this.
HILL: Well, when you say – well, look, you alluded to it when we talk about – if you talk about surgery and when you talk about saying a boy until 18. It implies that she – her womanhood is attached to surgeries-
AMY HOLMES: She had surgery!
BEN FERGUSON: She was a boy!
HILL: That was a very dangerous point-
FERGUSON: She was a boy!...
HILL: Trans identity does not hinge upon surgery. You can have a penis and still be a woman – a trans-woman. That's the point.
How does one with a modicum of common sense find the words to react to such a statement such as Hill's?
The CNN host brought on Holmes, Hill, and Ferguson immediately after his second interview of Mock , where he complained that had been "vilified" for his supposed mistreatment of the author. He first turned to Holmes for her reaction to the interviews and to the uproar. The CNN contributor expressed her sympathy for Morgan:
HOLMES: ...It was really confusing to understand what the conflict was. So I asked two of the folks that came with her [Mock] to the interview, and I said, basically, the contention is that Janet never wants to be referred to as ever having been a boy, because, from her point of view, she was always a girl? And the answer was, correct.
But it seemed like it was really more of a semantic issue here because the one and only reason why she's on this show, has written a book, is getting national attention – was because she was born with male genitalia, went through surgery, and is now female. And that's, frankly, a pretty sensational thing to go through in life.
The British TV personality then repeated his main complaint about Mock to Hill: "I still feel pretty aggrieved. I went from being a loud and vocal supporter of the transgender community to the greatest villain in the history of the transgender community within 24 hours. I don't really still understand why." The professor replied with his likening of Morgan to Romney.
After Hill concluded with his logically-challenged statement about male anatomy, the CNN host called on Ferguson, who went back to attacking the Columbia University academic. Hill fought back by interrupting and with condescension:
FERGUSON: Yeah. All right, let's deal with facts here. She was a boy and she was a man when she was born. Now, she can be in the head and say she refuses to accept that-
HILL: I disagree-
FERGUSON: But based on medicine and based on doctors, you come out and you're a man or you're a woman. If you want to change that, that's your decision. But let's really get to this, Piers-
HILL: That's not true, Ben-
FERGUSON: Oh, no, no, no – hold on-
HILL: That's not a fact. Ben, just because you say it's a fact doesn't make it true. But it's not a fact-
FERGUSON: Okay. You can disagree with it, but doctors and science agree with me on this. So now let me get to the real core here. Piers, the real core here is this-
HILL: No, actually – actually, doctors – actually doctors-
FERGUSON: Well, hold on, hold on. Let me finish; let me finish-
HILL: Doctors and science have nothing to do with gender. That's sex-
FERGUSON: Let me finish-
HILL: You're confusing sex and gender. You should really read a book on this.
Near the end of the segment, Holmes underlined the obviously peculiarity of the entire controversy surrounding Morgan and Mock:
HOLMES: ...[W]hat I would point out is, that there are lots of beautiful black women in the world – lots in this building at this very moment – and they are not sitting in a one-on-one interview with Piers Morgan during prime time on CNN. She was here to discuss the fact that she was born one gender – or one sex, as Marc would like to say – went through surgery, went through a lot – a psychological process – but also a physical process to become a female. And we can debate whether or not that is superficial....
— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.