Kansas media water carriers can’t drown Kelly/Toland drag show story

Iconic Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci earned seven perfect 10 scores for her events in the 1976 Olympics and a bronze medal for her floor exercise. But even her performance was no match for the backflips done by the reporters and editors of The Topeka Capital Journal, Kansas City Star, Wichita Eagle and other Kansas newspapers this week in trying to quash the story of state funding for organizers of events featuring “all ages” drag shows in Wichita.

In an unfortunately not-too-rare example of journalistic gymnastics in the Sunflower State, reporters for the state’s primary Democrat political water carriers flexed and strained and grimaced against a protest press conference held by Republican gubernatorial candidate Derek Schmidt as they worked to throw a wet blanket over the story and call Schmidt out as some kind of anti-drag show meanie (which on its own many Kansas voters will applaud). 

Forever Democrat apologists, these media-types swallowed without question and then regurgitated for their declining readerships the fast and wafer-thin denials of Lt. Governor David Toland’s Department of Commerce and the Wichita organizations now outed as groomers. The media joined them in their chorus of “just because the state funded us and we sponsored drag shows doesn’t mean… well… nevermind…”

The fly in the cold cream of course was that great big “Kansas Department of Commerce” logo on the flyer, right next to the line inviting “All Ages FREE,” that spoke louder than the denials.

After that performance, the Sunflower State press corps could seem to do no more. No request for financial records; no analysis of the morality of kids witnessing adult sexualization and the garish degradation of womanhood as some kind of costume; no background inclusion of suicidality statistics among gender dysphoric youth; no comparison between the flow-through mechanics of these state funds compared to, say, their own protests in the past about tax money paid by cities and counties to lobbyists who then fight to stymie the public with more restrictions on open meetings and open records in Kansas.

No, there was nothing except the rote rebroadcast of denials from the funding agency and from the organizations who feared they might never see another government grant if taxpayers knew what it was contributing to. The less said, the better, for groomer organizations and for Laura Kelly’s struggling re-election campaign. 

If Woodward and Bernstein had shown the same tenacity as these Kansas “reporters,” Richard Nixon would probably still be president.

Despite the attempt to bury the story by Kansas media running interference for Kelly and Toland, there’s more here than politics.The circus-clown style prostitution of female identity which is the core focus of every drag show would be attacked as “blackface” if white folks dawned makeup to masquerade as another race, but Leftist Culture embraces drag as a brave frontier of freedom for alt-sex types who are always whining about being oppressed. It is women, instead, who should be outraged at these sexual minstrel shows, where womanhood is reduced to tawdry stereotypes of clownish makeup, kitschy costumes and cheap stripper-esque.

Not only is drag celebrated in alt-sex quarters, but so is the priority on exposing children to this adult perversity. Across the country, “all ages” drag shows have become the rage among so-called “arts and culture” organizations like those sponsoring the events in Wichita. Videos fill the Internet of such shows, where grown men costumed as women suggestively prance, flirt and twerk on stage in front of audiences containing children. Worse yet – and it should be criminal – their mothers are there too, somehow believing that exposing their young ones to such depravity heralds their embrace of tolerance and diversity to soccer mom society.

There’s a deadly element to all this. A UCLA School of Law study of data from the CDC’s Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System and Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows nearly three times as many 13 to 24 year-olds suffer from gender dysphoria as compared to older adults. Transgender identity has become so skewed toward youth in fact that an estimated 20 percent of the trans population is age 13-17. Trans kids consider or attempt suicide at a rate some 7-8 times the rate of non-trans youth, according to the studies on the issue.

Why are more kids suffering from gender dysphoria? That’s the $20 question. Adolescence is tough even for healthy kids, but an increase in fatherless homes, disconnect from personal interaction via the Internet; a self-esteem deficit-based need to be noticed as unique – they all may have something to do with it. One thing is certain, gender dysphoric kids and adults need treatment, not encouragement of their condition by society and state governments to continue a path that places their lives at exponentially higher risk.

In their haste to bury the Kelly/Toland/KDOC drag show story for political reasons, Kansas media missed an opportunity to do something right, practice real journalism and maybe even save lives. It’s no wonder public trust in the media has fallen off the balance beam.

– Dane Hicks is publisher of The Anderson County Review, winner of The Kansas Press Association’s Boyd Community Service Award.