A controversial essay about 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg in The New Republic was deleted hours after it was published following a torrent of social media criticism.
The magazine admitted the opinion piece was “inappropriate and invasive” in an Editor’s Note on Friday, deleting the offensive post while contending it was meant as “satire.”
Written by openly gay writer Dale Peck, the essay took aim at the South Bend, Indiana mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who is also gay, offering salacious commentary about Buttigieg’s sexual life while referring to him as “Mary Pete.”
Peck’s opinion article, titled “My Mayor Pete Problem,” was pulled after The New Republic’s editor, Chris Lehmann, responded to a tweet from CNN’s Brian Stelter and then a note with the same language appeared in place of the essay in the magazine.
TNR’s response to my request for comment: “The New Republic recognizes that this post crossed a line, and while it was largely intended as satire, it was inappropriate and invasive,” Chris Lehmann says https://t.co/ExXYUNe1SU
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 12, 2019
Peck’s article read, in part:
Mary Pete and I are just not the same kind of gay. (For those of you wondering about “Mary Pete”: a couple of months ago I asked Facebook what the gay equivalent of Uncle Tom was, and this was the answer at which we collectively arrived)… Mary Pete and I have a lot in common, but at a certain point we came to a fork in the road and I took the one less traveled and he took the one that was freshly paved and bordered by flowers and white picket fences and every house had a hybrid in the driveway and some solar panels on the ceiling, but discrete ones, nothing garish, nothing that would interfere with the traditional look of the neighborhood or the resale value of your home.
The gay novelist and critic claimed “Mary Pete is a neoliberal and a Jeffersonian meritocrat, which is to say he’s just another unrepentant or at least unexamined beneficiary of white male privilege.”
The jaw-dropping piece not only called Buttigieg the “Uncle Tom” of the gay community, it went on to deliver a graphic and nasty attack on the 37-year-old Democrat. That attack spread on the internet, prompting scathing rebukes from members of the media who were equally appalled and baffled by Peck’s writing.
Speaking of editors: This genuinely bizarre New Republic piece on Pete Buttigieg opens with a totally random personal anecdote that goes for 1400 WORDS (!!). This is like, one quarter of it… https://t.co/jN1PpxbWl4 pic.twitter.com/KartVPAEPm
— Tom Gara (@tomgara) July 12, 2019
Holy crap, that TNR piece about Buttigieg is… rambling, gross, and bizarre. I don’t understand the purpose of it?
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) July 12, 2019
I thought “Mary Pete” was a typo at first. But nope.
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) July 12, 2019
— fake nick ramsey (@nick_ramsey) July 12, 2019
What in the fuck is wrong with the person who wrote this, does the New Republic not have editors anymore? Mary Pete? Breitbart wouldn’t even run this. Not linking. pic.twitter.com/3M0ymKbKMH
— Tim Miller (@Timodc) July 12, 2019
After a firestorm of criticism, The New Republic issued its statement Friday evening:
“The New Republic recognizes that this post crossed a line, and while it was largely intended as satire, it was inappropriate and invasive.”
An Editor’s Note in the magazine read: “Dale Peck’s post ‘My Mayor Pete Problem’ has been removed from the site, in response to criticism of the piece’s inappropriate and invasive content. We regret its publication.”
In an opinion piece published by the Washington Examiner on Friday, Becket Adams slammed the attack on Buttigieg as a “meandering, nasty, and disturbingly personal op-ed.”
“The article is every bit as reprehensible as it sounds, each paragraph worse than the last,” he wrote, adding that it “is just bad writing” while urging Peck to “dial it back, my man.”
“This is not your personal therapy session,” Adams added.
Reaction to Peck’s incendiary essay continued to pour in on Twitter where many were not buying The New Republic’s excuse of satire as well.
I get satire and appreciate pithy, but this @newrepublic shock piece by Dale Peck on Pete Buttigieg where one gay man tears down another with (among other things) a “Mary Pete” moniker is just pathetic.
To add insult to injury, it’s just terrible writing so I won’t link to it. pic.twitter.com/VLAJDdllvt
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) July 12, 2019
Not satire! pic.twitter.com/LZPDmSKXXz
— Jane Coaston (@cjane87) July 13, 2019
It was cruel and unethical, and should never have been published.
— Connie Schultz (@ConnieSchultz) July 13, 2019
The first rule of satire is if you have to explain that it’s satire then it’s definitely not satire.
— Karl Darrin Devlet (@hesanihilist) July 13, 2019
okay but if you look past the screenshot the actual TNR piece is a lot more…oh. Oh wow. No it’s not.
— Tim Murphy (@timothypmurphy) July 12, 2019
Obviously this is not the key problem with the piece. But being written in that style is usually a good sign that an article is stupid.
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) July 12, 2019
Had to look up the link, because I couldn’t believe the New Republic actually ran something as awful as this. But… they did. https://t.co/R11keSrN5y
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) July 12, 2019
1. TNR was hacked from Moscow
2. Author bribed the copydesk to sneak the piece into the magazine
3. It was “Take Your Pharmaceuticals to Work” day.
4. Piece won the “What Would Walter LIppmamn Not Do?” contest.
Seriously? words fail. https://t.co/U0xALEs8fe
— Jeff Greenfield (@greenfield64) July 12, 2019
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