Star Tribune reporter Paul Walsh stands by controversial CeCe McDonald story

Categories: GLBT, Media beefs
CeCeMcDonaldRect.jpg
CeCe McDonald
The Star Tribune is taking heat for its report on CeCe McDonald's release from prison.

THE BACKSTORY: CeCe released from prison [VIDEO]

The January 13 piece, written by breaking news reporter Paul Walsh, described CeCe as "a man in transition to being a woman" instead of the GLAAD-endorsed formulation, which is simply "transgender woman." Walsh and the Strib editors have also been criticized for putting quotations around CeCe's name, identifying her as "Chrishaun 'CeCe' McDonald" instead of just CeCe McDonald.

"The Star Tribune was the only news outlet in the country to not identify Cece McDonald as a transgender woman in stories about her release from prison," a post on TheColu.mn blog reports. "It was the only news story around the country to put quotes around Cece's name in the headline suggesting that the name Cece has chosen for herself is not accurate, and instead used her birth name 'Chrishaun.'"

"And the paper took pains not to use a pronoun for Cece after labeling her a 'man in transition to being a woman,'" Andy Birkey's TheColu.mn post continues, adding that referring to CeCe as "in transition" rather than simply as a transgender woman is something the Strib did even as far back as its coverage of the CeCe McDonald murder trial, which was the subject of a City Pages cover feature in May 2012.

But reached for comment yesterday, Walsh told us, "The only thing I want to say is that I stand by the story in its totality."

A message left for Strib Editor Rene Sanchez asking him to address his paper's treatment of CeCe wasn't returned.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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38 comments
roysomali
roysomali

CeCe obviously had anger issues. Who wouldn't growing up being a black trans person. That has to be tough.


However they let their emotions get the best of them when facing verbal assaults from some skinhead and now they are facing the consequences. Never confront a dangerous person or mortal enemy. Let the police handle it.   That's the lesson here.


Somehow everyone is saying she can't be held responsible and can't possibly be guilty because she would never get a fair trial. That makes no sense. Also please don't teach future generations of trans people that confronting a dangerous Aryan Nation thug with a weapon is a good idea. It is a dangerous idea. Sticks and stones people.. sticks and stones.

Rick Miller
Rick Miller

We need to identify people as they are If the suspect is black, say so. If the suspect is transgender say so If the subject is male say so etc

Matt Schieffer
Matt Schieffer

Can you or someone explain to me why a trans woman of color would approach a drunken yelling skinhead in the corner of a supermarket parking lot with a hand on her scissors? I mean, these psychos kill people like her all the time.. and if it really involved hate crimes, which I don't doubt, why approac them at all? Why not contact the authorities while waiting safely inside? Respect is giving her a fair trial and asking these questions about the case.. not just making it all about her being so discriminated against she must be therefore 100% innocent.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Who reads the Star-Trib anymore? Their biggest source of revenue this year will be all the shady land deals surrounding the new stadium. Anyway, CeCe got railroaded by the courts - this was a clear-cut case of self-defense.

Whitney McChane
Whitney McChane

Oh holy shit people are so ignorant it is shocking. And sad - really just sad that you have to go about life filled with such stupidity and hatred. Fortunately, you are also too stupid to know better than to post your ignorant blather in a public forum, using your first and last name, so we all know who you are and can avoid you like the plague. So thank goodness for that.

Shel Nelson
Shel Nelson

lol Jason Gabbert, you obviously have no understanding of the difference between gender and sex. I suggest you educate yourself on those differences before attempting to speak with any authority on the matter. Additionally, in every state in the U.S., with hormone therapy and irreversible gender reassignment surgery, a person may legally be considered the opposite sex from what they were assigned at birth.

nickeyrobo
nickeyrobo

The AP Standard is for reporters to respect an individual's gender identity, using that person's desired name and preferred pronoun. Does the Star Tribune use a different Stylebook? What defense do they have for not using this standard?

Danielle Leddy
Danielle Leddy

These comments are amazingly hateful and ignorent. People are born gay. Some people are also born with an inbalance of estrogen and testosterone making them realate to the opposite gender which has been scientifically proven. Just because they "choose" to get the surgery to correct the issue they were born with does not classify them as "mentally ill" or someone who has "the inability to recognize or understand reality". I'd actually think the opposite and believe that one who does not understand or chooses to not try to understand anither persons perspective would be the one I would classify as "mentally ill". Either way, it is not our place to judge others for what they choose to do. It's all a test you see, to see how we treat others who we classify as differnet than we are. In the long run, what does it matter if they are different? We all are different. What we should do though is reasearch the difference and figure out how they would like to be treated. Put yourself in their shoes type of deal. But if you can't fathom doing that then it's you, not them, who has the problem.

Andrea Bolks
Andrea Bolks

Kitty Fernandes- CeCe was ATTACKED and harassed with racist and transgend remarks. It was a hate crime. I would like you to think about how you feel if CeCe was born a women and this happened.

Andrea Bolks
Andrea Bolks

And I can't belive how ignorant and rude the comments are. People that have taken no time to think or understand the issue are commenting away. Yes some people are transgendered and have chosen to be addressed by something different than their born anatomy. Yes some people are gay. And they are different. One is sexual preference and one is about gender identity. "We" (as in the GLTBQ community) don't just get to "choose" one. And Jason Jason Gabbert- that is who they are on the inside. They are getting their appearance to match what they are inside so others think of them how they feel inside. Please respect.

Travis Chantar
Travis Chantar

Ignorant. Anyone else in her position (defending herself against a skinhead attack), would not have served time. The fact that her identity further shaded the situation is precisely the problem.

Brett Verlyn Scriver
Brett Verlyn Scriver

No matter how you feel about McDonald or her case, misgendering her and using the wrong name to refer to her is insulting and disrespectful to all transgender people. Do better, Star Tribune.

Ace Of-Bass
Ace Of-Bass

Why it's this considered so offensive? Scientifically and biologically this is correct. People need to chill the hell out.

Tiffany Sorenson
Tiffany Sorenson

except they did identify her.........as a "man transitioning into a woman", so why the applause??

Kirk Burback
Kirk Burback

Hey MaryBeth, are you saying affirmative action laws (female/black hiring quotas) are wrong? The do recognize and reward based on gender and race.

K Jason Bryan
K Jason Bryan

The Star Tribune was the first paper to coin the acronym GLBT in 1994, but now they have no competence in showing respect to our community. Pathetic.

Dan Stark
Dan Stark

I've been reading the comments here this morning and notice how some of the ones that don't agree with their agenda have disappeared. I'm not surprised though

Cräig Benttimäki
Cräig Benttimäki

City Pages liberal agenda is annoying. And if what you are saying is true, what is up with that? Freedom of speech aka Article 1! I think the kids at City Pages should stick to bars and bands.

Dan Stark
Dan Stark

Good job city pages on censoring the comment section. I'd hate for everyone's opinions to be fairly represented

Nell Gelhaus
Nell Gelhaus

Complete lack of respect for the transgender community, Cece herself, and everything they have to endure, from the Star Trib. I'm embarrassed for them.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Here's a situation where the activists have gotten too far out in front of most people's understanding and attitudes.  Our language and culture, to this point, need to assign people to one gender or the other, and have them stay there, or we don't know how to refer to people.  Other cultures (some in southern Asia, some Native American) see gender as more of a spectrum, so they don't have this issue.

Eventually I think people will get over these gender issues seeming "weird" or "icky" or just confusing, but getting from here to there will be uncomfortable.  The activists sound way-out right now, but people's attitudes will shift and we'll find ways to refer to people clearly without gender references that only confuse things anyway.

The STrib story was written for the people who haven't had to think about this stuff much and are trying to understand what happened.  McDonald killed a guy who was assaulting (insert pronoun of your choice).  The assault had a gender-bias context.  The activists have a solid point, but so does the reporter.  As the activists keep up their work, more and more of us will adapt and these gender references won't matter anymore.  Look at attitudes toward plain-old gay and lesbian identities and relationships over our lifetimes.

PowderBurns
PowderBurns

Someone will keep this in the news until the documentary is released.

Matthew Stegmueller
Matthew Stegmueller

Seems to me that the Star Tribune are the only ones that got it right.

Susan Stanley
Susan Stanley

It's his story he can report it anyway he wants I don't see anything wrong with it!!

roysomali
roysomali

@MNjoe  this is the advice that CeCe should have followed and because she didn't she's in prison on a murder charge. There is no way it was self defense when she chose to confront her verbal assailant thus escalating the situation unnecessarily and putting everyone at risk in her group: Let the cops handle it:



1. Your concealed weapon is for the protection of life ONLY
2. Know exactly when you can use your weapon. 3 criteria must be met:
a. His ABILITY to inflict serious bodily injury
b. His OPPORTUNITY to inflict serious bodily harm
c. His INTENT (hostile actions or words) to inflict serious bodily harm
3. If you can run away safely, run
4. If you display your weapon, you can go to jail
5. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you! Be humble … don’t instigate



WhiteMatt
WhiteMatt

@MNjoe  


 "Anyway, CeCe got railroaded by the courts - this was a clear-cut case of self-defense."


So you were there when this happened?

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

So just because the status quo is inaccuracy, the Strib should support inaccuracy as well?

Your way of thinking is killing everyone.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Yes, City Pages has a liberal agenda - so what? It has been so since it began as Sweet Potato in 1979. Are you just figuring this out? Maybe you would be less annoyed at the Fox News site - but please stay here - maybe someday some of this liberal love will rub off on you and you'll become less annoying.

_Joe_
_Joe_

You're thinking of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.  Article I covers state representation in congress.


Now that you know which is which, you should probably read them and try to understand why 1st amendment rights are not applicable in cases of defamation or hate speech.  And actually, not applicable at all when you're commenting on a site run by a privately owned for-profit company.


Simple example:  I graffiti a message on your house.  You paint over it.  Have you violated my right to free speech?  Nope

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Just censor the racists and the homophobes - everyone else gets their free speech! LOL

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@roysomali @MNjoe Good points but she's out of prison now. She got a pretty light sentence considering the circumstances but I don't think she should've gotten any time at all. The guy attacked her and she used the weapon in self-defense. I hope she can go on and have a good life despite this mark on her record.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

He absolutely smoked you with logic. Responding back was a mistake. You look like MB, and that's not a good look for anyone

WhiteMatt
WhiteMatt

@MNjoe 


I didn't ask you what you would have done if you were there. I asked if you were there and therefore knew, without a shadow of a doubt that CeCe acted in absolute self defense. You stated that you were not there. Therefore, you comment about this being a clear-cut case of self-defense is false because you were not there. See how logic works?


That said, I did indeed read the CP article about this case, and there are a lot of grey areas. The only things that are factual is that the victim and his friends were making some sort of derogatory comments about CeCe and her group of friends. Instead of walking away, they thought they were going to be tough and confront this group who were verbally (not physically) harassing them. The exchange of words escalated. Violence erupted. One man ended up dead. That's all we know. 


Being that witnesses had different versions of the story, I don't think anyone can make a fair assessment as to what actually happened. However, the Hennepin Country Attorney's office felt that there was compelling evidence that CeCe was not acting in self defense and therefore charged her. Cece and her friends were agitating their (verbal) aggressors when they could simply have walked away and called the police. Instead, they chose to take action themselves and this was the result. 


So was Cece guilty of second-degree murder? I don't know. I wasn't there. Therefore I am not going to make an absolute judgement call such as you did. Because that would be stupid.


Oh, and speaking of Zimmerman and hypocrisy, you Treyvon defenders kept on saying, "If only Zimmerman had stayed in his car and had not confronted Treyvon, he would still be alive today." Perhaps if CeCe and her friends would have just walked away and not confronted the group who were making catcalls at them, this whole thing could have been avoided. 


So therefore, you are the hypocrite - but we all knew that already.


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