A Fox News host got into a rather heated argument with a Republican governor on March 22, which many conservatives are seeing as yet another example of the formerly conservative news network sliding further left.
There are two sides to every story, and this one is especially difficult. Tucker Carlson is calling out South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who has been celebrated recently for her refusal to institute authoritarian COVID lockdowns, for her decision not to sign a bill banning biological males from women’s high school sports.
Discussing South Dakota House Bill 1217, Noem stated in a press conference that she would not sign the bill in its current form, and Tucker Carlson took that as a sign that the governor was caving to pressure from the NCAA.
“So you are saying the NCAA threatened you and you don’t think you can win that fight. They said if you sign this we won’t allow girls in South Dakota to play, and you don’t think you can win in court even though the public overwhelmingly supports you nationally, and so you are caving to the NCAA? I think that’s what you are saying?” Carlson asked Noem.
“No. That’s not right at all, Tucker,” Noem responded. “In fact, you are wrong, completely.”
According to Noem, she has been consulting with legal scholars and professors since November on the issue of protecting women’s sports, and the advice she was given was to create a coalition.
“I’m sick and tired of the NCAA threatening states, challenging us and bullying us,” the governor said. “So we are going to build a coalition of leaders, athletes and people who want to protect women’s sports and want to make sure that our women keep Title IX in place to protect their right to be competitive and to be rewarded by participating in these team sports and make sure this coalition can fight the NCAA to make sure we are protecting Title IX.”
“But these standards far predate Title IX,” Carlson replied. “And I’m not sure why Title IX is relevant or even really worth defending. This is thousands of years of common sense and tradition. Girls play girls’ sports and boys play boys’ sports. Why not instead just say, ‘bring it on NCAA. I’m a national figure, go ahead and try to exclude us. I will fight you in the court of public opinion and defend principle.’ Why not just do that?”
Noem responded by arguing that she was fighting the NCAA, not by signing the bill, but by creating the coalition. Carlson replied by reiterating his previous point: “You vetoed the bill.”
“I did not veto the bill. I asked the legislature to change it so I can win,” the governor fired back, adding that she is not interested in a participation trophy, or “picking a fight that we can’t win.”
“I have been bullied for the last year by liberals, Tucker,” she added. “I’m not going to let anybody from the NCAA, from any big business, I’m not even going to let conservatives on the right bully me. I’m going to solve the problem. I’m going to make sure that we are building strength in numbers and we are going after the NCAA and make sure that we are keeping only girls playing in girls sports.”
The Bottom Line
Noem’s flip-flopping on the issue is concerning, as just a few weeks ago on March 8, she stated that she was “excited” to sign the bill. Now, her communications director is saying that, as of the morning of March 19, she was still weighing the bill.
Maybe Noem is right, that the legislation is a fight that she “can’t win.” Maybe even after it is passed, it will cause more problems than it will solve. Maybe creating a coalition to determine the best way to protect women’s sports is a better plan. Or maybe Tucker is right that Noem is caving to the pressure instead of doing the right thing.
Either way, this is an important issue and it needs to be solved. Women’s sports, which give girls a chance to compete for scholarships, are in danger right now. If transgender individuals are allowed to compete without restriction, eventually girls will completely be pushed out, as they are unable to compete on a level playing field with biological males. Noem should be fighting harder for the young girls in her state.