It used to be, when media reports referred to transgender equality legislation as the "bathroom bill," I could rant about the journalistic irresponsibility. And we all feel good when we can feel morally superior to people in the news media.
I suspect we'll be seeing that phrase a lot today -- here it is this morning, slapped into the headline of an AP story by bostonchannel.com -- because MassTrans is leading a rally at the statehouse in a final effort to get the legislature to pass the piece of legislation that, as far as I've been able to determine, a majority in both houses supports but probably won't bring to the floor because they're a bunch of pantywaists. (Go ahead and feel morally superior to me for using that term.)
I've got no problem with people opposing the bill, or with supporting it but being too much of a sissyboy to vote on it; it's even fine if you want to argue that a broad range of civil rights should be curtailed if those rights might, conceivably, result in the legal use of a wee-wee in the ladies' stalls.
But it would be journalistic malpractice to prominently refer to the legislation as the "bathroom bill." Or, it would have been, until the standard-bearer for the Republican Party in the state decided to call it that. I can't really blame the media for using the term now. (Although I would still keep it out of the headline, bostonchannel.com!)
But I can blame Charlie. Oh, and Deval, you're not off the hook either. When asked about it, the Governor essentially conceded the underlying claim that the bill would allow men to whip out their willies willy-nilly in the girls' room. (Patrick said, in essence, what's the big deal, I share a bathroom with my wife and daughters at home.)
Sigh. Now, if the MassTrans folks want to cheer me up, here's my advice: co-opt it. Unveil a "Bathroom Bill" mascot today; I'm thinking with a big 'B' on his chest and a toilet lid hat. Bill would be a dopey guy who thinks he can go into the girl's locker rooms, so someone has to explain to him that he's got it all wrong -- and explan to him carefully what the transgender equality bill really does.
And it would be fine with me if Bathroom Bill looks a little bit like Charlie Baker. And, if the guy explaining the bill to him looks maybe just a little bit like Richard Tisei.