Headline RoundupJanuary 23rd, 2023

House Democratic Whip's Daughter Arrested After Allegedly Assaulting Cop

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The daughter of House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Riley Dowell, was arrested Sunday night after allegedly assaulting a police officer and vandalizing a public monument at an anti-police protest.

For Context: Dowell, 23, identifies as non-binary. A police release, using Dowell’s former name, said Dowell had spray painted “NO COP CITY” and “ACAB” (All Cops Are Bastards) on a monument, and was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and destruction or injury of personal property. In a statement, Clark said, “Last night, my daughter was arrested in Boston, Massachusetts. I love Riley, and this is a very difficult time in the cycle of joy and pain in parenting. This will be evaluated by the legal system, and I am confident in that process.”

How the Media Covered It: Right-rated outlets covered the news more prominently and often emphasized Clark’s influential position in Congress. Right-rated outlets have previously highlighted crimes committed by non-binary or transgender people more than left- or center-rated sources did. Coverage differed across the spectrum on calling the event in question a protest or riot.

Differences in Gendered Language: Coverage from left, center, and some right-rated outlets like Fox News (Right bias) called Dowell by their chosen name and used the term “daughter.” Other right-rated outlets labeled Dowell as Clark’s “son.” A Daily Wire (Right bias) headline put “non-binary” in quotes, framing that identifier as questionable. Other sources avoided using pronouns when referring to Dowell.

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