Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was confirmed by the Senate as President Joe Biden’s transportation secretary Tuesday.
While it was the first time the upper chamber confirmed an openly gay member of a presidential cabinet, it wasn’t the first time an openly gay man served in the coveted White House inner circle. The presidential cabinet included an openly gay man less than a year ago.
President Donald Trump’s former U.S. ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell, served as the president’s director of national intelligence from February to June last year. Legacy media, however, spent Tuesday predictably celebrating Buttigieg’s addition to the cabinet as a triumphant first, whitewashing Grenell’s tenure in the process.
NBC trumpeted Buttigieg’s arrival in the cabinet with a breaking news alert on Twitter.
“Pete Buttigieg confirmed as the secretary of Transportation, becoming the first openly gay member of the presidential cabinet,” NBC wrote in a tweet that has was later deleted following blowback on Twitter correcting the record.
To their credit, NBC issued a correction post clarifying the distinction between Grenell and Buttigieg, the latter of whom had been Senate-confirmed, the former of whom had not.
Correction: Buttigieg is first openly gay person to be confirmed as a Cabinet secretary.
Under Pres. Trump, Richard Grenell served as acting director of national intelligence and is openly gay, but did not face confirmation as an acting director.
A new tweet will be issued. pic.twitter.com/mKRFDGp2Gs
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 2, 2021
The modifier has become an excuse of the left and their allies in the corporate media to whitewash Grenell having been the first the break the barrier. Trump couldn’t possibly be given credit for refusing to discriminate based on sexuality after all the left’s effort spent to paint him as anti-gay.
Compare below how the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a leftist interest group that masquerades as a human rights organization cloaked in the moral righteousness of social justice, speaks of Grenell versus Buttigieg.
The way that @HRC talks about the first openly gay member of the Cabinet, @RichardGrenell, vs. how they talk about the first openly gay member of the cabinet who was confirmed by the Senate is pretty rich. pic.twitter.com/RpquH7b4lB
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) February 2, 2021
The now-routine celebration of Buttigieg played out across legacy outlets at the onset of Buttigieg’s nomination in December, though it was certainly present in the run-up as Biden’s identity-politics obsessed transition team desperately tried to find Buttigieg a spot in the cabinet to tick off the diversity box for “gay.” Of course, the transition team still ran into problems because Buttigieg is white.
“Finding a Cabinet position for him has been a challenge as the former VP focuses on nominating women and people of color to high-level posts,” Axios reported at the time.
CNN’s Jake Tapper chimed in on the praise.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) December 15, 2020
The media case study on Buttigieg is no isolated incident of misrepresentation in identity politics. It speaks to the broader perspective of beltway journalists operating with nefarious assumptions infecting their work with consequential bias. In November, the Washington Post inaccurately reported Biden made history with a female-led communications team.
“Jennifer Psaki, a veteran Democratic spokeswoman, will be Biden’s White House press secretary, one of seven women who will fill the upper ranks of his administration’s communications staff. It is the first time all of the top aides tasked with speaking on behalf of an administration and shaping its message will be female,” the Post wrote.
NPR followed suit with the Democratic talking points, claiming it would be the “first time in history” those positions were filled by women.
At the time, Trump’s communications team was led entirely by female staff, featuring White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany as the face of the administration, succeeding two other female staffers who filled the role before her.
When the Democratic Party makes identity politics their game, however, the left are the only ones who can win it.
Who legacy outlets choose to bless with glossy cover profiles and who they don’t is just as revealing as how they cover conservatives breaking barriers. It’s routine to catch leftist heroes such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Stacey Abrams, who was literally depicted with a cape in the Washington Post last year, grace the covers of flagship magazines complimented with 10,000-word profiles. McEnany shouldn’t hold her breath for a fancy profile anytime soon.
Fox News’ Dana Perino, who also served as White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, described the double-standard succinctly in November following legacy outlets gushing over a communications team Trump already had.
“As a conservative woman, you know you’re not going to get the glowing profile, so you just get your sh-t done,” Perino said on air, apologizing for the profanity mistakenly, but authentically offered on-air.
Fox News' Dana Perino curses on-air while complaining that conservative women don't get enough credit from the media:
"You know you're not going to get the glowing profile, so you just get your shit done!" pic.twitter.com/rtlSW98ai5
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) November 30, 2020