Media’s Worst of the Week: Mayor Pete Solves Masculinity

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
May 20, 2023

Hello and welcome to the Washington Free Beacon's Worst of the Week, a new Saturday showcase of the media's most cringeworthy, absurd, and infuriating coverage. As ever, there was stiff competition, but four articles were clearly the worst.

Wired's Bizarre Puff Piece about Pete Buttigieg

See if you can discern the writer's subtle political bias from the lead:

The curious mind of Pete Buttigieg holds much of its functionality in reserve. Even as he discusses railroads and airlines, down to the pointillist data that is his current stock-in-trade, the U.S. secretary of transportation comes off like a Mensa black card holder who might have a secret Go habit or a three-second Rubik’s Cube solution or a knack for supplying, off the top of his head, the day of the week for a random date in 1404, along with a non-condescending history of the Julian and Gregorian calendars.

As Secretary Buttigieg and I talked in his under-furnished corner office one afternoon in early spring, I slowly became aware that his cabinet job requires only a modest portion of his cognitive powers. Other mental facilities, no kidding, are apportioned to the Iliad, Puritan historiography, and Knausgaard’s Spring—though not in the original Norwegian (slacker). Fortunately, he was willing to devote yet another apse in his cathedral mind to making his ideas about three mighty themes—neoliberalism, masculinity, and Christianity—intelligible to me.

Oh, and this is the actual headline: "Pete Buttigieg Loves God, Beer, and His Electric Mustang: Sure, the US secretary of transportation has thoughts on building bridges. But infrastructure occupies just a sliver of his voluminous mind."

New York Times on DEI for White Guys

The New York Times has breaking news: Not everyone likes being berated at work for unconsciously upholding the white cis-patriarchy. So the geniuses of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion industry have rebranded. DEI is now DEI-B, and the "B" means belonging:

The nonpartisan nonprofit Business for America recently interviewed more than two dozen executives at 18 companies and found this to be a common theme. "The way they’ve rolled out D.E.I. has exacerbated divides even while addressing valuable issues," said Sarah Bonk, BFA’s founder and chief executive. "It has created some hostility, resentment."

But, not everyone's a "B"-liever:

"Belonging is a way to help people who aren’t marginalized feel like they’re part of the conversation," said Stephanie Creary, assistant professor of management at the Wharton School of Business who studies corporate strategies for diversity and inclusion.

She believes an abstract focus on belonging allows companies to avoid the tough conversations about power—and the resistance those conversations often generate. "The concern is that we are just creating new terms like belonging as a way to manage that resistance," Ms. Creary said.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition's Octogenarian Cover Model

If you're a red-blooded American male who used to look forward to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, stop making this about you. It's 2023. Nothing is about you.

This year's SI cover models include 81-year-old lifestyle mogul and hardened ex-con Martha Stewart, German transgender pop star Kim Petras, and Machine Gun Kelly groupie Megan Fox.

NBC Celebrates Teacher Giving Porn to Kids

Here's TODAY's heart-wrenching story of how bigoted parents called the police on Sarah Bonner, an Illinois middle school teacher and social justice martyr:

It started on Monday, March 13, 2023, when [Bonner] held what she calls a "book tasting" for students. ...

"I wanted to give them a smattering of fiction and nonfiction to choose from on a day that we call ‘Reading Monday," Bonner, 42, tells "We just read and celebrate books."

One of those books was Juno Dawson’s "This Book is Gay." It's a bestselling nonfiction book that's billed by its publisher as an entertaining and informative "instruction manual" for anyone coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans. ...

Bonner says that she understands parents "know their children best" and believes that both parents and educators have that "love and care" in common.

"The difference is that I have that love and care for all students, not just a singular student," she adds. "In regards to the book that was challenged in my classroom, it was a message to the LGBTQ+ community in my room and in my district that they're 'less than.'" ...

The day after Bonner learned about the police report, she received a letter from her school district—she had been placed on paid administrative leave.

TODAY apparently forgot to mention that "This Book Is Gay" explains how to find sexual partners online and contains sexually explicit images.

That's enough media for this week. Thanks for reading!

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Published under: Media