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More on the pushback to Jamie Reed's claims about that St. Louis gender clinic


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Hot Air

John Sexton

March 08, 2023

The backstory here is that last month a former manager at a pediatric gender identity clinic in St. Louis, Missouri came forward to accuse the clinic of doing harm to kids. Jamie Reed wrote her own account of what she saw at the clinic for the Free Press but she also sought whistleblower protection and filed an affidavit expanding on some of those claims.


It turns out Kim Hutton is a lot more than just a stunned parent.


The “baffled” line was compelling enough that it was integrated into the article’s headline. But Colleen Schrappen, the article’s author, doesn’t note that Kim Hutton is the cofounder of TransParent, a group that advocates for trans kids and their access to medical treatment.

That, alone, is poor reporting: as a journalist, of course you should disclose relevant activist ties on the part of any source you quote. If you quote someone saying they’re really concerned about out of control police violence, and you don’t disclose that they have been an active member of Black Lives Matter for five years, that’s bad…

But in this case, the undisclosed conflicts are even more severe: not only is Hutton the cofounder of TransParent, but she actually helped create the very gender center being scrutinized. A savvy tipster, who wanted to remain anonymous, pointed this out to me in an email. TransParent’s History page details close links between Hutton and St. Louis Children’s Hospital going back more than a decade. In a 2018 article in the Ladue News informing readers of 2018’s “Women of Achievement,” the author writes that among her other accomplishments, Hutton “successfully lobbied for the Washington University Transgender Center of Excellence, which opened in 2017.” Hutton herself echoed that claim in a sworn deposition contained in this 2017 legal filing (page 175 in the PDF). The details of the case don’t matter for our purposes, but Hutton testified about someone else having been “well aware that Dr. Abby Hollander was working with me, or that I had approached her about starting a pediatric gender center inside the hospital” (Hollander is a pediatric endocrinologist at St. Louis Children’s).


Jesse Singal found the evidence to back up my suspicions.


On top of all this, neither journalist was aware that the same day Reed’s Free Press article came out, TransParent sent out an email subject-lined “Urgent Action Needed!” asking parents to come forward with positive stories about the clinic — or if they were aware of this, they didn’t disclose it in their stories…

TransParent has every right to do this, and the existence of this email doesn’t inherently call into question the account of parents linked to the organization. But of course this email should affect how we view the fact that most of the parents who have spoken to journalists so far have expressed positive feelings toward the clinic — a point emphasized in both stories. At least some of them are members of an activist group that asked them to do just that!



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