Here's Who's Controlling the Bathroom Debate

The bathroom wars raging in North Carolina, set off by House Bill 2 passed by the N.C. General Assembly, have attained international attention, partly from a febrile cadre of gay activists, but largely due to the Charlotte Observer that covers the city where the donnybrook began – and N.C.'s capital city daily, the Raleigh News & Observer.  Without these papers, both owned by the McClatchy chain, the bathroom gender issue would have come and gone in a few days.

Whether or not boys who claim female hormones can use the girls' restroom is a red herring for a long-running phenomenon of activists and news outlets joining hands to effect social change to suit their vision of America.  They are at war with the N.C. General Assembly, claiming that H.B. 2 eliminates the option of state courts for claiming discrimination.  However, there is no there there: federal courts adjudicate these matters by long practice anyway, as do state agencies.

For two straight weeks, the Raleigh paper published from four to seven pieces a day on the subject – news articles, editorials, guest opinion, editorial cartoons, letters to the editor, and blurbs in their political happenings column.  The theme that emerges is to exhort readers to approve of transgender lifestyles and special rights.  If you do not, you are responsible for the amount of business dollars lost to the state from cancelation by businesses, entertainers, conventions, and tourists boycotting North Carolina until H.B. 2 is repealed.

One example of extortion is PayPal canceling an expansion in Charlotte in reaction to House Bill 2.  A little research uncovers that the online payments firm does business in ten countries that ban homosexuality, some of which hang violators.  And while PayPal has no qualms about doing business with Iran, a rogue state that hates America, the company is adamant that it cannot locate to a state that insists that your gender is what it says on your birth certificate.

Very few of the 70-plus mentions of the subject in the paper over two weeks are balanced, such as not mentioning PayPal's hypocrisy.  The dailies employed the blitzkrieg style of left-wing journalism for a subject few care to know about, creating an overall effect of desperation.  The campaign is similar in extremism to the unprecedented abandonment of standards by the National Review, which published an entire issue attacking Donald Trump.

The thing to remember is the potency of even a small-town newspaper over a national weekly magazine when it comes to controlling the conversation.  The daily paper has the power of print over broadcasting.  No matter how sophisticated we think we are, "first there was the word" continues to apply.  Since broadcasters do not have "journalists" or a fleet of beat reporters, they rely almost entirely on the print version.  Thus, it is the local daily newspapers in Charlotte and Raleigh that decide the tone taken worldwide on the "bathroom wars."

However, the power of a provincial print outlet does not mean much without a full court press by activists, in this case the LGBTQ lobby.  They are the most efficient pressure group I have observed in 35 years of publishing.  Gay activists include more professional and affluent advocates than most "victimized" minorities, which translates into hyper-organized and coordinated campaigns with close ties to local media.

In the bathroom wars, an obscure city council resolution spread like "prairie fire," the term ultimate activist and murderer Bill Ayers used to describe the fast and complete spread of domestic terrorist causes.  Before we knew it, a list of visitors and businesses were boycotting North Carolina as if they had been ready for months to act against an obscure cause.

The global reaction took planning of the sort in which gay cause organizers are expert.  And remember, there was no incident or complaint or discrimination lawsuit that instigated the initial local resolution in Charlotte.  Instead, gay activists since the late 1980s have brought similar resolutions to local councils with no specific reason – except to create an ironclad local law stating that if, in the future, a LGBTQ city employee hypothetically is discriminated against, he is protected.  In effect, these laws and regulations communicate the message: don't tread on me for anything, or I will accuse my employers of discrimination.

Per polls taken in North Carolina, the majority of respondents agree with House Bill 2.  Yet activists and the dailies keep spreading support of the cause contrary to the wishes of the citizenry.  What else is new?