CBS’s Gayle King: Calling someone a ‘diabetic’ is now considered offensive

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

The policing of language on the left, in their never-ending quest to avoid offending people, is beginning to reach asinine levels — a quest that never seems to extend to the right-of-center.

Look no further than a Wednesday segment of “CBS This Morning,” when co-host Gayle King inquired about whether the term “diabetic” is now verboten.

“Random question here,” King said. “We were told right before we came on the air not to use the term diabetics, that we should say people with diabetes because ‘diabetics’ is considered offensive. Is that true? I want to make sure we get it right.”

The question was directed to CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus, who is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Viterbi School of Engineering. King didn’t mention who told them not to use the term, leaving readers to assume it was a CBS official, nor did she share why Agus would be an authority on acceptable language.

Which is not to say he didn’t have an answer, “It is the standard now to say it’s people with diabetes. There’s Type One that requires insulin, Type Two that may or may not require insulin.”

“Now we know,” a satisfied King responded.


The controlling of language extends from college campuses, and the language police were out in force recently at Brandeis University, where a list of potentially oppressive words or phrases that would be better replaced by more neutral language was issued.

Fittingly, “trigger warning” was one of the spotlighted phrases that may need to come with a “trigger warning.”

As a community, we can strive to remove language that may hurt those who have experienced violence from our everyday use,” explained Brandeis University’s anti-violence Prevention, Advocacy, and Resource Center.

Violent language includes “killing it” (suggested alternative “great job” or “awesome” to avoid any supposed reference to murder), trigger warning (suggested replacement “content note” to steer clear of a purported connection to guns), and “rule of thumb” (“general rule” is a suggested alternative to avoid a supposed reference that feminists have alleged to wife-beating.)

There’s also an effort afoot around the country to police language in K-12 schools, in some schools, in the name of “inclusivity.”

The Grace Church School, a Manhattan private school that costs $57,000 a year to attend, is pushing more “inclusive language,” encouraging its students to stop using terms like “mom” and “dad” because it makes “assumptions” about how others may live. The school also encourages gender-neutral terms over terms like “boys” and “girls.”

Students are informed that sometimes an individual’s gender identity doesn’t “match their sex assigned at birth,” and “using gender inclusive language can provide critical affirmation to students across the gender spectrum.”

Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, responded to King’s inquiry.

“This morning CBS’s Gayle King asks her guests with perfect seriousness if we should say ‘people with diabetes because diabetics is now considered offensive.’ That would make the people at CBS persons with idiocy,” he tweeted.

Social media users weighed in on the absurdity of it all in responding to King. Here’s a quick sampling of those responses from Twitter:


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