Resurfaced video shows Sky News host mocking trans woman’s very obvious joke

A split image of Sky News journalist Rita Panahi and a trans woman in a viral clip.

Sky News Australia host Rita Panahi has been ridiculed after a clip of her taking a trans woman’s sarcastic viral video at face value has resurfaced.

Users on X, formerly Twitter, watched in bewilderment as the right-wing broadcaster belittled a trans woman’s story about pronouns, seemingly believing it to be shared in earnest.

“I was at work and a customer called me sir,” the trans woman said in the clip. “And I said, ‘Umm, sir? Actually, it’s ma’am,’ and then everyone around started clapping and the guy who said it actually got arrested.”

Instead of seeing the clip for the seemingly obvious joke that it was, Panahi instead used it to mock the trans woman, saying sarcastically: “And then he was sentenced to death. Yeah, I’m sure.”

People who saw the clip couldn’t believe Sky News had not realised the clip may have been purposefully obtuse, with one writing: “Please tell me you edited this yourself and this wasn’t really broadcast. Please. I need this to be fake.”

The term “everybody clapped” is notorious for being used in purposefully fake internet posts. It derives from a 2012 Facebook post in which a user claimed an entire bus full of people clapped following an altercation.

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Since then, it has become a popular indicator either by a story-teller that a post or video is fake, or by others to suggest that a story is made up.

“‘And everybody clapped’ is such a firmly established, universally accepted signifier that a story is supposed to be obviously made up,” one user wrote.

“I mean, of course the ‘one joke’ crowd doesn’t recognise other jokes,” another user wrote, referencing that anti-trans pundits typically make jokes about pronouns or misgendering.

“I don’t think y’all realise that person was being satire,” one person wrote in the comments of the video.

Rita Panahi has often used her Sky News Australia show to spread anti-trans rhetoric.

During a 27 October broadcast, she used a segment to condemn LGBTQ+ protestors rallying against the attacks on Gaza in recent weeks.

After showing a clip of a protestor wearing a dress chanting “free Palestine,” she claimed LGBTQ+ protestors didn’t understand that the Middle East did not approve of “alternative lifestyles.”

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