SHOUTING MSNBC Host Loses It at GOP Governor Over Trans Bill in State

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On her Friday morning show, MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle put on display the kind of hostile treatment conservative guests can expect to receive as she confronted Governor Jim Justice (R-WV) over his decision to sign a bill to protects girls’ sports in schools.

A couple of days later, MSNBC weekend host Ali Velshi even replayed the contentious debate on his show, cheering her on, as he portrayed Republicans as being in a “war on trans kids.”

After Ruhle and Governor Justice had had a cordial discussion about other issues like the state of COVID vaccinations in his state, the liberal MSNBC host moved to grill her guest over transgender rights: “The law you just signed that bans transgender female athletes from playing on women’s school sports teams — can you name one example of a transgender child trying to gain an unfair competitive advantage at a school there in West Virginia?”

After the governor — who coaches girls’ basketball – answered that he had not personally encountered the issue, Ruhle cut him off: “Not yourself — your state, sir. Can you give me one example of a transgender child trying to get an unfair advantage? Just one in your state? You signed a bill about it.”

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As Governor Justice referred to his work as a coach, and started to make an argument that it is unfair for biological boys to compete with girls, the MSNBC host again rudely interrupted him, and made a lame argument that, because other problems exist in the state, the issue of transgenders in school sports should not be addressed:

But, sir, you don’t have examples of this happening. Why would you take your time to do this? Let’s talk about other things that I can give you examples of in your state. According to U.S. News and World Report, West Virginia ranks 45th in education, 47th in health care, 48th on the economy, and 50th in infrastructure. If you cannot name one single example for me of a child doing this, why would you make this a priority? I just named four things that would seem to me like a much bigger priority.

Ruhle cut him off a couple more times as the governor clarified that, although he agreed with the bill, he personally had not pushed the issue, signing the bill as one of hundreds that have been passed by the legislature during his tenure.

After concluding the segment by ridiculously inviting him to come back on the show if he finds an example of a transgender causing a problem by trying to play on a sports team in his state, the MSNBC host then introduced the next segment in which she went after Florida Republicans for passing a new voting law.

Velshi was so impressed with his colleague that he brought up the issue on his Sunday morning show. With the words “The GOP War on Trans Kids” on screen, Velshi complained:

It’s a culture war checklist item for Republicans. There’s no reason for it. No problem is being solved by these bills. We know no children who transitioned for the purpose of participating in sports. Republicans pass these bills and sign them into law to score political points at the expense of children.  But rarely are these Republican officials asked to justify their position. Well, that changed last week when West Virginia Governor Jim Justice joined my friend Stephanie Ruhle on Friday. Stephanie, as you know, can be refreshingly direct. Here’s what happened.

Then came a long clip of Ruhle confronting Governor Justice. Velshi then quipped, ”It looks like ‘Justice’ got served. Stephanie calls it as she sees it,” and brought aboard fellow MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart for further discussion.

The episode of Stephanie Ruhle Reports was sponsored in part by Trupanion. Their contact information is linked.

Transcripts follow. Click “expand” to read more. 

MSNBC

Stephanie Ruhle Reports

April 30, 2021

9:25 a.m. Eastern

STEPHANIE RUHLE: I want to ask you about other families. The law you just signed that bans transgender female athletes from playing on women’s school sports teams — can you name one example of a transgender child trying to gain an unfair competitive advantage at a school there in West Virginia?

GOVERNOR JIM JUSTICE (R-WV): Well, Stephanie, I don’t have that experience exactly to myself right now, but I will tell you this —

RUHLE: Not yourself — your state, sir. Can you give me one example of a transgender child trying to get an unfair advantage? Just one in your state? You signed a bill about it.

GOVERNOR JUSTICE: No, I can’t really tell you one, but I can tell you this, Stephanie. I’m a coach, and I coach a girls’ basketball team, and I can tell you that there are, you know, we all know — we all know what an absolute advantage boys would have playing against girls.

(cross talk)

RUHLE: But, sir —

GOVERNOR JUSTICE: We don’t do that.

RUHLE: — you don’t have examples of this happening. Why would you take your time to do this? Let’s talk about other things that I can give you examples of in your state. According to U.S. News and World Report, West Virginia ranks 45th in education, 47th in health care, 48th on the economy, and 50th in infrastructure. If you cannot name one single example for me of a child doing this, why would you make this a priority? I just named four things that would seem to me like a much bigger priority.

GOVERNOR JUSTICE: Well, Stephanie, I didn’t make it a priority. It isn’t my bill.

RUHLE: You signed it

GOVERNOR JUSTICE: I mean, it’s just come to me, and I actually signed it because I believe, from the standpoint of a coach, I believe that girls worked so hard to obtain Title IX — and I do not have any idea now why we are trying to disadvantage them in participating in the sport that they’ve put so much into. I don’t know why we’re doing it. This is not like it’s a big priority to me. In fact, I think we only have 12 —

RUHLE: You signed it.

GOVERNOR JUSTICE: No, Stephanie, listen, I think we only have 12 kids maybe in our state that are transgender-type kids. I mean, for crying out loud, Stephanie, I sign hundreds of bills — hundreds of bills. This is not a priority for me. But with all that, I would say I think that it would pose an unfair disadvantage on the girls. And so, from that standpoint, I support it.

RUHLE: All right, sir, thank you. And, please, come back when, beyond anecdotal feelings as a coach, you can show me evidence where those young women are being disadvantaged in your state because I can show you evidence about how ranking that low in education is disadvantaging young women and men in West Virginia. Thanks for your time.

Developing now in Florida, the Republican-controlled state legislature has just passed a controversial voting bill that includes restrictions on vote by mail and drop boxes. And the Republican governor is poised to sign it into law. One Democratic state lawmaker is calling the move a revival of Jim Crow. 

(…)

MSNBC

Velshi

May 2, 2021

9:36 a.m. Eastern

ALI VELSHI: West Virginia has become the latest state to enact anti-transgender legislation that targets children who want to play sports with their classmates. According to the Human Rights Campaign, there are 120 bills being considered by state legislatures right now that directly infringe on transgender rights, and more than half of those — 66 of them — would target transgender girls and young women, banning them from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identities.

It’s a culture war checklist item for Republicans. There’s no reason for it. No problem is being solved by these bills. We know no children who transitioned for the purpose of participating in sports. Republicans pass these bills and sign them into law to score political points at the expense of children.

But rarely are these Republican officials asked to justify their position. Well, that changed last week when West Virginia Governor Jim Justice joined my friend Stephanie Ruhle on Friday. Stephanie, as you know, can be refreshingly direct. Here’s what happened.

(shows clip of almost two and a half minutes from Friday’s Stephanie Ruhle Reports in which Ruhle confronted Governor Jim Justice about him signing the bill barring transgender girls from girls’ school sports in West Virginia)

Based on that clip, it looks like justice got served. Stephanie calls it as she sees it, and so does Jonathan Capehart, the host of The Sunday Show, who joins me now. Jonathan, that may be one of the worst justifications I’ve ever heard for signing a bill. It’s just not a thing. I mean, I invite people to tweet you or tweet me with any example of anybody who decided to undergo gender reassignment because they wanted to play on a different team literally to succeed in sports. I mean, it’s just not a thing.

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