Top 10 Underreported Stories of 2023

Although the legacy media lift up non-stories every year, they offset the spilled ink by underreporting stories of great national importance. Here are 10 of the most significant stories ignored by the legacy media in 2023.

1. The Nashville Shooter’s Manifesto

On March 27, Audrey Elizabeth Hale entered Nashville’s Covenant School and murdered six innocent people: three nine-year-old children and three adults. Although school shootings have become distressingly commonplace, elements of this atrocity set it apart from other mass shootings: Hale identified as a transgender male named “Aiden,” and her target was a Christian school.

“One day, this will make more sense,” Hale texted her former middle school basketball teammate, Averianna Patton, on the morning of the shooting. “I’ve left plenty of evidence behind.”

Yet the government-media industrial complex has assured that day has not come. The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department has continued to withhold Hale’s manifesto nine months after the shooting — and the legacy media largely ignored leaked pages of Hale’s diary, posted on social media by talk show host Steven Crowder on November 6.

Crowder obtained only three pages of Hale’s diary, but reading Hale’s words, it’s easy to see why the media suppressed them: They shatter the media narrative about mass shooters. “Wanna kill all you little crackers” with “your white privileges,” wrote Hale. “I hope I have a high death count.”

“God let my wrath take over my anxiety,” she mock-prayed.

The New York Times and The Washington Post reported on the leaked diary pages — without quoting a single word of their content. (The Post story quoted the manifesto … of Payton Gendron, a teenage white supremacist who targeted black shoppers in a supermarket in Buffalo in 2022.) NBC News covered the police investigation into the leak, not Hale’s words. When news leaks thwart conservative aims, they’re news; when leaks harm liberal causes, they’re prosecutions. (See Daleiden, David.)

What’s more, the media know the profound pain their silence has caused the people of Nashville. “Spiritually it’s eating me, it’s eating me alive right now right now [sic], because I’m trying to make God help me wrap my mind around what, what is this God?” said Patton shortly after Hale’s rampage. The media could have answered her question and assuaged her existential angst, but they let her suffer for political ends.

2. Studies Show the Dangers of Transgender Surgeries and the LGBTQ Lifestyle

When historians look back, they may say 2023 marked a turning point when the harms of transgender surgeries became public knowledge. Several studies this year revealed the dangers of the LGBT lifestyle.

Perhaps most dramatically, the chair of a transgender surgery department found that people who have transgender surgeries are lonelier and more depressed than those who do nothing — as are trans-identified people who play on sports teams of the opposite sex. “[H]igher loneliness levels were significantly associated with … already having a gender reassignment surgery [and] more than 4 [hours] a week of sports activities,” as “compared to no sports activity,” said a study by Dr. Marco Blessmann, the founding chair of University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf’s plastic surgery department. The German facility carries out such common transgender procedures as “labiaplasty” and “breast augmentation,” as well as “other surgical services,” and has every financial incentive to come to different conclusions, yet its peer-reviewed studies detail the harm its own procedures cause.

A different study found a majority (55%) of women who had vaginoplasty experienced pain, sometimes for years after the procedure, and one in three has difficulty urinating and having sex. The data come from a study of patients who underwent “bottom surgery” from the Postoperative Care Clinic at the Women’s College Hospital (WCH) in Ontario between 2018 and 2020. Media reported the study, sparsely, in January.

Among the unlikely sources contradicting the LGBTQ narrative that all lifestyles are equally healthy, the Biden administration noted the deep ties between identifying as LGBT and mental illness. As this author reported:

“‘Female students, LGBQ+ students, and students who had any same-sex partners were more likely than their peers to experience poor mental health and suicidal thoughts and behaviors,’ said a Biden administration report released in February by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Teenagers who identified as LGBTQ were twice as likely to report ‘poor mental health’ as those who identified as heterosexual, three times as likely to have ‘seriously considered attempting suicide’ or ‘made a suicide plan,’ and 366.6% more likely to have attempted suicide. Not only do they contemplate suicide more frequently, but they are 700% more likely to have injured themselves in a suicide attempt. While only three out of every 100 straight students have been injured in a suicide attempt, the number soars to one out of every seven teens who identifies as LGBTQ.

“‘Nearly 70% of LGBQ+ students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness … and more than 20% of LGBQ+ students attempted suicide,’ said the CDC report.”

3. Who Leaked the Dobbs Decision?

Weeks before the Supreme Court acted to right a legal and historical wrong by overturning Roe v. Wade, something truly unprecedented happened: Someone leaked a draft copy of the decision in the case — Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — to Politico. The activist Left exploded in rage. A year-long campaign of violence targeted pro-life churches and pregnancy resource centers, while an armed man traveled to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home intent on shooting him. The Supreme Court launched an investigation but officially announced in January that it could not determine who leaked the report.

“I personally have a pretty good idea who is responsible, but that’s different from the level of proof that is needed to name somebody,” said Justice Samuel Alito, the author of the Dobbs decision, in April. (The International Business Times has noted many conservatives believe the leaker is Amit Jain, a clerk for Sonia Sotomayor with a history of contacting Politico.) But to their shame, the media — which took pains to identify every individual within miles of the U.S. Capitol on January 6 — did not pursue the story doggedly, because it did not fit their narrative.

Another honorable mention in this category is, “Who brought cocaine to the White House?” Like the leaked Dobbs decision, the identity of the individual who left a bag of cocaine in the West Wing this July remains officially unsolved.

4. Our Open Border Transforms America

Joe Biden has set a number of records; unfortunately, they are all for new national humiliations. Among his worst failures is the open U.S. border with Mexico, where illegal immigration has broken all U.S. records each successive year of the Biden administration. In all, a reported 10 million illegal entries have taken place since Biden took office — and they have radically and deliberately transformed the nation we live in, against the will of the American people.

Thanks to this influx, the United States now has the largest number and percentage of foreign-born residents in American history: 49.5 million people, or 15% of the U.S. population. The illegal population grew so precipitously in part, because the Biden administration has failed to remove 99% of the illegal immigrants released into the United States. Among these illegals is a record number of border-crossers whose names are on the terrorist watchlist. Yet the Biden administration has reduced criminal alien deportations.

The problem has finally reached America’s “sanctuary cities,” as Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) sent busloads of illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Chicago, Los Angles, and the Big Apple. New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) has said the problem will “destroy” his city and implored the Biden administration to send illegal immigrants to every city, town, and village in America. (Which, for all we know, the administration is already doing.) No one knows where the planeloads of illegal immigrants Biden flies around the country are going.

The Left plans to withhold border security until Republicans give in and approve another 1986-style amnesty plan, which will transform the electorate into what SEIU and socialist organizer Eliseo Medina called “a governing coalition for the long-term.” (See my previous writing on the topic — which includes Democrats discussing their plans to win by relying on voting demographics as far back as 2002 — in this article.) If the corporate GOP rewards the Democrats’ lawless behavior, it will assure America’s permanent transformation.

5. The LGBT Agenda Is Losing Support

Although the legacy media give the LGBTQ political agenda uniformly positive coverage and focus on the group far out of proportion to that demographic’s share of the population, this year they omitted several salient stories: Multiple polls found the LGBTQ cause has lost political support in 2023, even among its most supportive generation.

Among Americans born since 1997, known as Gen Z, support for same-sex marriage fell by a whopping 11 percentage points since 2021, according to a study released in November by AEI’s Survey Center on American Life. Broadly, the percentage of Americans who believe same-sexual relationships are “morally acceptable” fell by 7% this year, the largest decrease of any of the moral issues posed by Gallup pollsters in their annual Values and Beliefs poll, released in June. Most Americans do not see “a married gay or lesbian couple raising children together” as “completely acceptable” (47% do), and even fewer believe an unmarried same-sex couple should raise a child (41%), the Pew Research Center found in September.

Even the Biden administration’s U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) admitted people who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual are far more likely to suffer from major depression, abuse illegal drugs, and are up to six times as likely to attempt suicide. Transgender ideology also lost support, with a 55% majority of Americans saying “changing one’s gender” is morally wrong, according to a Gallup poll in June — a 4% increase in two years. Transgender extremism was one of the major issues that brought down the leader of Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, in February.

These results may seem counterintuitive, since Americans said to identify as LGBTQ more than ever, according to the same polling firms. It could be polling agencies, which are masters at manipulating results, wish to create a sense of complacency in the midst of a social revolution. Or something more ominous may be occurring: Americans may be moving in both directions at the same time. It could be that more young people are caving to social pressure to identify as LGBTQ, while older people (and members of Gen Z who do not buy in to the latest trends) resist the bandwagon effect, which they see will harm themselves and their loved ones.

6. Biden Family Corruption

Even as much as conservative media reported the ever-growing evidence that Joe Biden and his family prospered from deals intended to influence The Big Guy, the broader media have presented the story as a vengeful, political witch hunt waged without evidence. Yet the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability’s wealth of evidence has earned a dearth of coverage, often being falsely presented as “debunked” and “refuted.”

Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) has noted that Biden made Ukraine’s firing of prosecutor Viktor Shokin a U.S. priority only after receiving a pay-off. Even the first U.S. hostage released by Hamas had a relative who bought Hunter Biden’s artwork. Biden seems to have used the resources of the U.S. government to further an influence-peddling scheme. As Barack Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden sent thousands of pseudonymous emails under such names as Robert Peters, including informing Hunter Biden about news regarding nations his son was doing business with.

Like Hunter, Joe’s brother Frank Biden also interrupted calls with VIPs to take calls from then-Vice President Joe Biden, referring to the veep as “The Big Guy.” Frank Biden exploited his surname to take a position promoting Mavericks In Education, a charter school chain intended to cater to at-risk students, but which was accused of lying about membership to increase taxpayer funding. He reportedly did this again while taking a job at Berman Law Firm. James Biden has reportedly traded on his brother’s name since the 1970s to gain everything from a night club to foreign deals to legally dubious schemes involving health care companies treating cancer patients. (Note: Many of these stories were originally reported by the legacy media … during the 2020 Democratic primaries. After clinching the nomination, the Biden stories seemed to dry up.) Biden family corruption allegations have led the House to an impeachment inquiry. (For an hour-long discussion of the proof in the Biden family’s scandals, listen to this episode of the “Outstanding” podcast.)

7. The Biden Administration Tells Title X Recipients to Talk to Minors about Sex Behind Their Parents’ Backs

Biden doesn’t simply seek to corrupt his own family; his administration would like to corrupt yours, as well. Taxpayer-funded guidelines encourage Title X providers — those who dole out contraception to those who ask at taxpayer expense — to talk about sex with minors behind their parents’ back, even describing ways to get their parents out of the room. As The Washington Stand reported exclusively:

“Federally-funded guidelines instruct adults to pause before discussing sex with minors and to ask, ‘Are you alone in the room?’ These instructions specify tactics to follow ‘if you’re really having a hard time getting a parent’ to leave the room during the sex talk. They suggest children as young as 13 discuss sex with groups like Planned Parenthood in a parked car or communicate in writing, so their parents cannot hear the adults’ side of the conversation. And they encourage offices to have vans roam neighborhoods giving minors federally funded contraceptives; to mail birth control to adolescents in ‘plain, unmarked packaging’; and/or to have teenagers receive contraceptives at public meet-up places.”

Protecting children against the mental and physical harms of early sexual initiation is hard enough for parents without their government undermining parents’ authority — and forcing them to pay for it.

8. Churchgoers and Married People are Happier

Despite an endless barrage of negative media about the drudgeries of married life and the pointlessness of faith, multiple studies this year verified the benefits of both. Americans who believe in God and value marriage are more likely to be “very happy” than non-believers and single people, according to a Wall Street Journal-NORC poll taken in March. Practicing Christians who regularly read the Bible report a higher score on the Human Flourishing Index — which measures “happiness & life satisfaction,” “mental & physical health,” “meaning & purpose,” “character & virtue,” “close societal relationships” and “financial & material stability.”

Active Christians score 7.8, compared to 6.9 for inactive Christians and 6.7 for religious unaffiliated, according to an American Bible Society report released this June. The biggest difference between active Christians and non-Christians came in “meaning & purpose.” (They’re also far more likely to vote Republican.) The aforementioned AEI study also found that “Overall, religious Americans tend to believe their life is meaningful more often than do those who are not religious.” Evangelical Christians are 33% more likely than unbelievers to say their actions matter in the grand scheme of things.

Even the Biden administration issued a warning this year saying Americans’ health may be undermined by not attending church. A report from Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, which was released in May, says loneliness harms physical health “even greater than [the risk] associated with obesity and physical inactivity” and is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

“Religious or faith-based groups can be a source for regular social contact, serve as a community of support, provide meaning and purpose, create a sense of belonging around shared values and beliefs, and are associated with reduced risk-taking behaviors,” Murthy writes. “As a consequence of this decline in participation, individuals’ health may be undermined.”

When a Balaam like Biden blesses church attendance, Christians should listen.

9. COVID-19 Lockdowns Are Still Hurting America

Locking down the entire population over a virus with a near-100% survival rate may prove to be the most misguided decision in 21st century domestic policy — an arena with stiff competitors. To this day, Americans of all ages continue to pay the price for this policy error, chief among them children.

An analysis from the Associated Press found 50,000 children remain missing from school two years after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic (which the World Health Organization only declared ended on May 5). An incredible 35% of children in kindergarten through second grade fell “below benchmark” in reading (placing them at “high risk for persistent reading difficulties”) in Fall 2021, according to a University of Virginia analysis. These gaps will impact their development as human beings, stifling their cognitive faculties, limiting their lifetime income and fulfillment, and capping their ability to make a difference for Christ and the church.

U.S. taxpayers also literally paid the price for the bipartisan consensus to roll out $5 trillion in COVID emergency relief. The Justice Department announced this summer it had arrested nearly 3,200 people for defrauding U.S. COVID relief funds; at the time, it was investigating $8.6 billion in fraud. The nation’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood, received $90.41 billion in COVID relief, although the CARES Act seemed to be written to exclude it; indeed, taxpayer funds continued to trickle down to abortionists this year.

In reality, we have no idea how much fraud was committed in the name of COVID-19 relief — and we won’t for at least a century. Small Business Administration Inspector General Hannibal “Mike” Ware said his COVID fraud hotline got an immense number of tips about COVID fraud, “more than 90,000 have been identified as actionable leads, which amount to more than 100 years of investigative case work.” Funding those investigations alone will cost American taxpayers for years to come.

10. Huge Increase in Homeschooling, Stay-at-home Moms

According to The Washington Post, homeschooling has become the “fastest-growing form of education” in the United States. The United States has seen a 51% increase in homeschooling in five years — between the 2017-2018 school year and this school year. With school strikes, lower educational standards, and teachers hiding children’s transgenderism and teaching Woke curricula (repeating the lies of the 1619 Project and stocking school libraries with gay pornographic books), it’s easy to see why.

At the same time, the number of stay-at-home mothers has increased, according to two studies released this year. The number of stay-at-home moms skyrocketed from 15% in 2022 to 25% in 2023, according to Motherly’s Annual State of Motherhood survey. The Pew Research Center said 26% of mothers worked exclusively in the home in 2022, up from a low of 23% two decades ago.

The children raised by mothers who care enough to sacrifice their career advancement for their children’s development and education may just offset the kids neglected by the public school system since COVID-19 (at the latest). They will be our nation’s greatest hope, and the source of our nation’s good news stories, for years to come.

The legacy media have not given these stories the exposure they deserve but, Lord willing, The Washington Stand’s coverage of newsworthy stories in the pivotal election year of 2024 will prove out-Stand-ing.


Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.


EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

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