Private Manning Says, "Call Me Bambi"

August 28, 2013 | 9 comments

Army private Bradley Manning, convicted of passing classified documents to WikiLeaks, has changed his mind again.

Last week he said he considered himself to be a woman, wanted to be referred to as Chelsea, and asked news organizations to refer to him using the new name and the feminine pronoun.

After further reflection over the last few days, Manning has decided that he is neither a man nor a woman. The convicted soldier now claims to be an androgynous deer named Bambi and wants to be referred to with the neuter pronoun.

As reported at

Starting tomorrow, The New York Times and the Associated Press will refer to Bradley Manning as Bambi Manning, “formerly known as Pfc. Bradley Manning,” honoring the former soldier’s request to be considered a deer. Thereafter Manning will be referred to as “it.”

“Our deputy editor in charge of copy desks has sent out a message to let folks here know we will make the change tomorrow,” said Greg Brock, the Times’ senior editor for standards. A Times representative also confirmed the change.

In an e-mail to member editors, the AP announced that it too would be making the change: “The Associated Press will henceforth use Pvt. Bambi Manning and neuter pronouns for the soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning, in accordance with its wishes to live as a deer,” the e-mail stated.

Manning announced last week its intention to live as a woman named Chelsea Manning. At the time, Manning asked that “starting today you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun.” Now Manning says it has had a change of heart and considers itself to be neither a man nor a woman but a deer.

Initial reports about Manning’s announcement by the Times, the Associated Press, and others referred to Manning as a male, though the AP stylebook states that media outlets should use “the pronoun preferred by the individual,” suggesting a forthcoming change to the neuter.


(Note: The original report, written by Dylan Byers, appeared on August 26. On April 1 I made minor modifications so the text would correspond with this ongoing story's latest developments.)

Karl Keating is founder and senior fellow at Catholic Answers. He is the author of seven books, including the recently published The New Geocentrists and the forthcoming The Ultimate Catholic Quiz. His books Catholicism and Fundamentalism and What Catholics Really Believe...

Comments by Members

#1  Emily Carpenter - Red Bank, New Jersey

Thank you, Karl Keating, for taking the time to point out what everyone already knows. Bradley Manning (AKA Bambi Manning) is suffering from mental illness. What would we ever do without you, Karl?

August 28, 2013 at 8:35 am PST
#2  Karl Keating - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Emily: My post isn't so much a comment on poor Manning but on journalists whose politically-correct principles lead them into fatuity.

August 28, 2013 at 8:40 am PST
#3  Bill Monteith - Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

When you google Bradley Manning his description comes up to the right as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. Karl, thank you for introducing to me the word fatuity. Perfect for this story.

August 28, 2013 at 9:29 am PST
#4  John Stange - Houston, Texas

Wouldn't a deer be either male or female (as far as pronouns are concerned)? I'm sorry. But when major news agencies such as the AP and New York Times sink this far into the world of insanity .... who really gives a damn what they say?

August 28, 2013 at 9:37 am PST
#5  Emily Carpenter - Red Bank, New Jersey

Karl, the proclivities of politically-correct journalists are well known to anyone that has read an American newspaper in the last 30 years.

August 28, 2013 at 9:59 am PST
#6  Bryan Metcalf - Napa, California

John, a deer or any other non-human is referred to as "it" under AP style. This follows the basic grammar principle which calls animals "it" unless they have a name.

For example, my dog is referred to as "it" until I tell you his name is Scooter. Now he has a name and can be referred to by normal pronouns.

August 29, 2013 at 12:15 pm PST
#7  Tim Ryland - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Faline called. She's leaving you.

August 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm PST
#8  David Fritz - Northampton, Pennsylvania

The reference "deer" is only used when describing a herd(several) of (deer) or using the word "deer in conjunction with an action in a sentence such as " we saw a deer run through the woods. Bradley should have said "I wish to live as a doe or buck" In his case the first choice obviously. His idea to be called a "deer" (a "doe") lends to just how desperate he is to present himself as being insane so people will take pity on him.Who wouldn't take pity on "Bambi"? The AP,Times,Emily Carpenter sure have fallen for it. I was in the US Army 12 years and I can tell you, soldiers get thorough training of what to do and what "Not" to do.He was not mentally ill at all or he couldn't conduct basic soldiering responsibilities let alone ones that got him a job in that capacity.

September 9, 2013 at 1:13 am PST
#9  Kadie Johnson - Port Antonio, Portland Parish

I found this article as strange as the Pvt. Manning insisting on being reffered to as a woman or deer get it. Even more strange is our various comments.

September 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm PST

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