This week brought yet another “historic” move by Joe Biden as he continues to name people being given positions in his cabinet and on his staff. The latest history-making pick was former South Bend Mayor and failed presidential primary candidate Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation. (Karen already asked the obvious question of what in the world Buttigieg knows about transportation, but we can bat that around again at a later date.) Numerous mainstream media outlets quickly hailed Biden’s eye toward diversity for naming the “first openly gay” person to a cabinet position. It’s just breathtaking, isn’t it? What a great day for diversity.
There was just one problem with those headlines, though. Buttigieg is actually the second openly gay person to be appointed to such a level. As the Daily Wire points out, everyone somehow seemed to forget that Donald Trump made a similar appointment when he placed Richard Grenell as the Director of National Intelligence. Oops.
As soon as Democrat Joe Biden announced he would nominate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, media outlets rushed to hail the choice as a historic occasion for LGBT individuals.
Numerous outlets, including Sky News, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, reported that Buttigieg would be the first “openly gay man” to hold a Cabinet post. Except, Buttigieg would not be the first “openly gay” cabinet member, as that honor already belongs to Richard Grenell, who was appointed by President Donald Trump in February to serve as the acting director of national intelligence.
Some of the same outlets touting Buttigieg as the first openly gay cabinet member previously reported that Grenell was the first. The Times in February reported that “Mr. Grenell, who has pushed to advance gay rights in his current post, is also thought to be the first openly gay cabinet member.” The Times on Tuesday reported that “Mr. Buttigieg would bring a younger voice to the cabinet and add to its diversity as its first openly gay member.”
Is anyone really surprised by this? Overlooking anything “historic” done by Donald Trump isn’t a bug in the mainstream media. It’s a feature. When the economy came roaring back to life in 2017, most of the media struggled valiantly to give the credit to Barack Obama, under whom we experienced eight years of one of the most sluggish “recoveries” in living memory. When Trump scored levels of support among Hispanic voters only dreamed of by previous Republicans, the media dutifully ignored the news like it never happened.
When it comes to breaking barriers by appointing people of diverse backgrounds, the coverage of the Buttigieg appointment wasn’t the only rerun we watched this year. Over the summer we saw more MSM talking heads than I can count talking about the “historic” nature of Kamala Harris, a woman, being picked as Joe Biden’s running mate. Somewhere out there, Sarah Palin is rolling her eyes so hard she’ll probably need glasses after this.
Sure, you can make the argument that Harris wasn’t just a woman, but a Black woman, so that makes her, um… “more historic” than Palin? But that means that the first Hispanic woman, the first Jewish woman, the first left-handed woman, and the first woman taller than 5′ 7″ to be picked as a running mate will all have to be causes for national celebration, right?
I know we’ve touched on this before, but since the cable news networks and major newspapers are all suffering from fainting spells about Harris, it’s worth remembering the reality of what happened. Kamala Harris didn’t “win” anything by gaining broad support among the public. She ran a disastrous campaign and dropped out of the race before the voting had even started, having garnered virtually no support even among her own party. She’s in the position she’s in today as the result of one, single “vote.” And it was cast by a septuagenarian, cisgender, straight, white, Christain male. Had Biden picked any of the other names from his shortlist, Harris would either be back in her Senate seat or unemployed.
But hey… congratulations to Pete Buttigieg. Good to see that he won’t remain on the unemployment line. And I’m sure he’ll do fine with the transportation gig. I hear he’s always really liked cars.