Is he or isn’t he a he?
The news media wrestled with pronouns Thursday after Bradley Manning, the Army private convicted of leaking military secrets, declared that he is a woman and intends to seek hormone treatment to complete his gender transition.
The issue: Should Manning be referred to as a “he” in news accounts, or as “she,” as “Today” show host Savannah Guthrie did repeatedly in breaking the news via an interview with Manning’s attorney? Guthrie also referred to Manning as “he” in reference to events that occurred before lawyer David Coombs disclosed Manning’s plans.
News organizations immediately began grappling with the he-she issue.
ABCNews.com chose the feminine pronoun in its article on Manning, writing, “Pvt. Bradley E. Manning, now known as Chelsea and convicted of leaking classified military documents to Wikieaks, will soon be moved to Leavenworth Federal Prison to serve 35 years in an all-male facility as a transgender female.” But the Christian Science Monitor stuck with “he” throughout its account.