The Daily Caller, which now describes itself as “a 24-hour news publication providing its audience with original reporting, thought-provoking commentary and breaking news” but still touts its conservative bona fides and previous association with Tucker Carlson on its About page, once ran articles critical of transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner, even referring to the Caitlyn as “Bruce” even after Jenner announced their gender transition. Now, Daily Caller publishes news and opinion articles promoting Jenner’s run for Governor of California.
On June 3, 2015, just over a month after Jenner announced a new gender identity to the world and was heralded by mainstream media and the left as “stunning and brave,” then-Daily Caller reporter Patrick Howley, who is now the Senior Reporter for National File, wrote an article titled “Bruce Jenner’s Supporters Are Bullies Who Don’t Care About Him”.
In the article, Howley opined that “The media gave us Bruce Jenner’s transformation into ‘Caitlyn’ in the most easily digestible, daytime-TV, ‘Before-and-After’ format. One minute he’s an aging athlete. POOF! Now he’s a big-titted Vanity Fair cover model and everybody has to pretend that he’s hot, or something. And BuzzFeed is already using his life decision to try to trap Republican candidates into saying the wrong thing.” He concluded, “Therein lies the problem with our national referendum on caring: the only people who care actually don’t.”
Prior to publication of the June 3 article, Howley reported on an official sports ranking by The Daily Caller, which revealed that – following the gender transition – Jenner became the most talented female athlete of all time. “The evidence is clear,” wrote Howley. “Jenner is the only woman in Olympic history to finish a full decathlon, boldly breaking down barriers at the 1976 Montreal Games by defeating male athlete Guido Kratschmer of West Germany. In scoring a then-world record 8,616 points in the event, Caitlyn proved that one woman can set a new standard for ALL of the 31 different gender classifications.”
“Jenner’s amazing performance not only exceeds the record of all women’s heptathlon competitors but also of all other women athletes in every sport. According to TheDC’s statistical analysis, Jenner would easily defeat former USC women’s basketball star Cheryl Miller in a game of one-on-one and would outplay Annika Sorenstam over eighteen holes,” Howley reported.
Criticism of Jenner was not a one-off event by a talented reporter writing an editorial. In its political sports section, Daily Caller reporter Alex Griswold covered a threatened conservative boycott of ESPN after the sports network awarded Jenner the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the 2015 ESPYs. “The hashtag #BoycottESPN is trending on Twitter, with many users pointing to athletes they believe have shown more courage than Jenner, who transitioned from Bruce Jenner in April. One of the popular choices is Lauren Hill, a 19-year-old cancer patient who fulfilled her dream of playing college basketball before her untimely death,” reported The Daily Caller, also on June 3, 2015.
Indeed, The Daily Caller continued to misgender Jenner – that is, refer to Jenner’s biological sex rather than psychological gender preference – even after the California candidate for governor confirmed the gender transition rumors in April of 2015. Only hours after Jenner was interviewed by Diane Sawyer to confirm the rumors of transgenderism, Daily Caller reporter Kaitlan Collins continued using masculine pronouns to describe Jenner and repeatedly. “When asked about Barack Obama addressing LGBT rights in his State of the Union, the 65-year-old former Olympic athlete said that didn’t affect him much”; “Sawyer, looking shocked, asked if he identifies as a Republican, to which Jenner answered, ‘Yes.’”; “But now, he said, he’s realized that maybe this is part of his purpose”; “The ABC interview is Jenner’s first time publicly confirming that he is indeed transitioning into a woman”; “The 65-year-old, who was recently spotted wearing a dress, admitted he has been confused with his gender identity since ‘I was this big’” wrote Collins for The Daily Caller, emphasis added by National File.
However, The Daily Caller’s attitude toward Jenner has changed dramatically in the last six years, in both the publication’s news and editorial pages. Earlier this week, The Daily Caller published an article declaring, “Conservatives Praise Caitlyn Jenner’s Political Ad”. The two conservatives lavishing praise, as reported by The Daily Caller, were “radio host Larry O’Connor,” and “commentator Bethany Mandel.”
Just yesterday, The Daily Caller further promoted Jenner’s political agenda with an article titled, “Caitlyn Jenner Says US In Desperate Need Of A Border Wall”. The article, which covers Jenner’s recent appearance on Fox News’ Hannity, actually reveals that Jenner devoted precisely 25 words to the subject of a border wall. “‘I am all for the wall, I would secure the wall,’ Jenner said. ‘We can’t have a state, we can’t have a country, without a secure wall,’” The Daily Caller reported Jenner as saying. The Daily Caller then noted that Jenner would not deport all illegal immigrants, if given the power to do so. “Some help, I mean, some people we’re going to send back, okay, no question about that. But I have met some of the greatest immigrants into our country,” The Daily Caller quoted Jenner.
While six years ago, The Daily Caller opinion section offered concern for Jenner’s mental health and a conservative critique of the modern fascination with transgenderism, the 2021 opinion section offers an article from a Daily Caller contributor declaring, “HART: I Hope Caitlyn Jenner Wins The California Governor’s Race”.
“Olympic Decathlon idol of my childhood, Caitlyn Jenner may have given up broad jumping to transition to a woman, but she is my hero,” wrote The Daily Caller’s Ron Hart. “The vicious lie that predicates every liberal’s debate with someone right-of-center is that we are homophobic, racist, xenophobic and the new one, trans-phobic. In reality, we do not care a bit about all that stuff. We just want someone to run the government who can fix the potholes and keep the streets safe, schools good and taxes low.” Hart continued, “What will the left do with a transgendered Republican running?”
It remains unclear what caused the dramatic shift in The Daily Caller’s reporting, however, it is worth noting that populist TV host Tucker Carlson formally left his role as editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller – a company he co-founded – in 2016, after he was tapped by Fox News to host his wildly successful TV news and commentary program, Tucker Carlson Tonight. Carlson would later sell his shares of The Daily Caller in late 2020.