MATTHEWS: There is hope for journalism yet 

FILE - Author J.K. Rowling appears at the world premiere of the film "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" in Paris on Nov. 8, 2018. Scholastic announced Tuesday that Rowling's “The Christmas Pig,” the story of a boy named Jack and a beloved toy (Dur Pig) which goes missing, will be released worldwide Oct. 12. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

As a media analyst, I talk a lot about the sad state of the modern media, specifically on the liberally biased nature of it and how oftentimes it’s pretty evident that the writer did not do their due diligence regarding the subject matter on which they were tasked with writing. 

Every once in a while, though, a writer surprises me in a good way, which is what happened last week when Huffington Post columnist E.J. Rosetta took to the Twitter machine to talk about a writing assignment she’d been given several months ago and how it caused her to unexpectedly have a change of heart. 

The goal of the assignment in question was to dunk on a popular book author regarding her unapologetic opinions on the dangers of allowing men who identify as women into women’s safe spaces as if there were no differences between transgender women and women who were born women. 

“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling was to be the focus of Rosetta’s piece, and the stated purpose was to document “20 Transphobic JK Rowling Quotes We’re Done With,” according to Rosetta. 

Except after Rosetta got started on her research, she came to realize that the caricature of Rowling painted by the activist left and other critics in no way matched who the real J.K. Rowling actually is. 

“After 12 weeks of reading her books, tweets, full essay & finding the context of these ‘quotes,’ I’ve not found a single truly transphobic message,” Rosetta tweeted in a lengthy thread where she explained the conclusions she drew about Rowling based on what she’d learned. 

“JK Rowling is not an ‘intolerable transphobe,’” Rosetta noted. “[S]he’s a (talented) woman who could have sat back & been beloved forever, but looked around & paid attention as the intersection of trans rights and women’s rights has had understandable growing pains. 

“The abuse JK has endured is beyond forgiveness. Every death threat, r*pe threat & torrent of abuse, she has born w/ grace,” Rosetta further observed, while also calling out any supposed “reporter” who ran with popular leftist knee-jerk narratives about Rowling without doing any actual investigative digging themselves. 

“Shame on those who have framed her under the guise of ‘reporting’ when you must know, deep down, you are just chucking out clickbait & stirring up hate,” Rosetta wrote. “Shame on those who followed that propaganda without critical thought.” 

Rosetta’s entire thread was a refreshing change of pace from what is frequently seen on news sites, especially those that are upfront about their political leanings (the Huffington Post is a left-wing news and opinion site, and they have reporters who appear regularly at White House press briefings). 

Instead of just swallowing an oft-pushed narrative whole without thinking and spouting off something that likely would have generated a lot of clicks for her, Rosetta chose to do the work and boldly shared a conclusion when she was done that went against the grain — and it reflected in what she posted to Twitter. 

Rowling, who has been the target of an intense amount of hate and intolerance from so-called “tolerant” types on social media and beyond since she made her feelings on the subject known three years ago, saw Rosetta’s thread and thanked her for it. 

“Amid all the madness, this truly made my day,” Rowling said in response. 

And for those who crave honesty and forthrightness in journalism even if it comes at the expense of losing “street cred” with some of your audience, it made our day, too. 

As the old saying goes, “The truth will set you free.” 

North Carolina native Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a media analyst and regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.