Media hails Pete Buttigieg as 'first' openly gay Cabinet member, snubbing former acting DNI Ric Grenell

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Several members of the mainstream media hailed Tuesday’s confirmation of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg by falsely declaring him the “first” openly gay person to ever lead a government agency. 

Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Ind. mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, was confirmed by the Senate by an overwhelming 87-13 vote. 

While some in the media have correctly stated that Buttigieg is the first LGBTQ Cabinet member to be confirmed by the Senate, many others wrongly praised his appointment as the first LGBTQ Cabinet member ever, completely overlooking former acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell. 

“BREAKING: Pete Buttigieg confirmed as the secretary of Transportation, becoming the first openly gay member of a presidential Cabinet,” NBC News incorrectly tweeted the breaking news. 

“BREAKING: The Senate confirmed Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation with a vote of 86-13; the former South Bend mayor is the first openly LGBTQ cabinet secretary,” CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy similarly declared.

“With a vote of 86-13, the Senate has confirmed @PeteButtigieg as the Secretary of Transportation. He’s making history as the first openly LGBTQ cabinet secretary,” CBS White House correspondent Weijia Jiang said.

“BREAKING: Pete Buttigieg is overwhelmingly confirmed as transportation secretary and, by a 86-to-13 vote, now becomes the first openly gay Cabinet member in American history,” Washington Post reporter Matt Viser wrote in a now-deleted tweet. 


“86-13, the Senate confirms @Pete Buttigieg to be US Secretary of Transportation. He becomes the first millennial and first openly gay cabinet secretary in history,” NBC News reporter Sahil Kapur said. 

“BREAKING: Pete Buttigieg just made history by becoming America’s first openly gay cabinet official” LGBTQ media outlet PinkNews put in its headline.

While some journalists like Viser and Kapur amended their inaccurate tweets, The National correspondent Joyce Karam bizarrely doubled down on her false declaration after critics corrected her tweet. 

“There has been long list of LGBTQ US ambassadors but not a cabinet member confirmed by the Senate. Mayor Pete is the first. Dismissing or refuting it doesn’t make it go away!” Karam exclaimed. “Neither does trolling. Facts, truth are stubborn things. Not measured, thankfully, by clickbait accounts.”

Grenell himself congratulated Buttigieg for his confirmation while offering a subtle nod to those attempting to rewrite history. 


“Congratulations to @PeteButtigieg on becoming the second openly gay member of a President’s Cabinet. Welcome to the club!” Grenell posted along with pictures of him from the White House.

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