New Republic pulls shockingly inappropriate ‘Mary Pete’ post on Buttigieg after torrent of outrage

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.”

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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.

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.

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.


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