Media Makes the Manning Switch

Media Politics in Perspective

By Katy Steinmetz

“Chelsea” is winning.

Last Thursday, the Army private formerly known as Bradley Manning announced through the Today Show that she identifies as female. Manning also asked to be referred to by the name Chelsea and with feminine pronouns. The media, and everyone else interested in the person who revealed diplomatic secrets to WikiLeaks, were then faced with the question of whether to make the switch.

Less than a week later, news outlets—including TIME—have widely adopted she and her. The New York Times and the Associated Press have announced that they will primarily be using Chelsea, only mentioning the name Bradley when referring to times past. Though Fox News was still writing “he” on Friday, they’re now on the “she” train, too. And the user who types the words Bradley Manning into the Wikipedia search engine is promptly redirected to a page for Chelsea Manning…

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