What’s Behind The Media’s Buttigieg Fever?

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Pete Buttigieg
Edward Kimmel from Takoma Park, MD [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The American media seems to be obsessed with boosting minor US presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. The Indiana mayor has enjoyed several months of being the media’s “it” candidate, even though his poll numbers are nothing special. Why?

The free mountains of positive publicity for Buttigieg reveals the obvious media agenda to push a safe corporate Democrat on voters, someone who will offer pleasant rhetoric to cultural progressives but continue business-as-usual that satisfies greedy donors and lobbyists. 

Behind-the-scenes Buttigieg is mainly being hyped and pitched by Democratic operative Lis Smith, who’s getting his name out there as much as possible and booking him on any show or in any magazine or newspaper with an audience above one. It’s a fact that the vast majority of the US mainstream media is liberal or left-wing, so Smith’s appeal to mainly liberal reporters and columnists is an easy sell. 

Buttigieg’s been featured on the cover of TIME magazine (with the title “First Family” alongside his partner Chasten, gleefully pushing the idea of a gay first couple on the U.S. public, a large amount of whom do not support gay marriage), and on the cover of New York magazine. Buttigieg’s also been popping up all over TV the last couple of months on Ellen, The Late Show, the Indiana mayor has been given high-value publicity basically everywhere a liberal American politician can hype his or her campaign. “Why You Love Mayor Pete” declared New York Times columnist David Brooks. More accurately the column should have been headlined “Why Us Coastal Elites Love Mayor Pete.”

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Before Mayor Pete the mainstream media’s crush was the idiotic pretty boy Beto O’Rourke who’s never come across a table he doesn’t want to stand on and empty, meaningless rhetoric he doesn’t want to spout for hours. At least Buttigieg has some basic intelligence and a platform of sorts, even if it is mainly neoliberal copy-paste. Buttigieg’s past includes working for McKinsey and Company consulting firm for God’s sake, a despicable organization known for boosting Middle Eastern dictators and helping them hurt political opponents

For those who say it’s not fair to blame Buttigieg for the actions of some individuals in his past work history, it’s still important to just admit the fact that he’s not a very strong candidate. He ran for head of the Democratic National Committee in 2017 and lost. He’s polling way behind Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. He’s not a serious candidate. 

Indeed, it’s obvious to any half-knowledgeable political observer that Buttigieg isn’t going to beat President Trump. Not even close. Even die-hard culturally-liberal Democrats have to face the fact that only Joe Biden (“Middle Class Joe”) or Bernie Sanders has a solid shot of winning crucial states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Pete Buttigieg is just further proof of how out-of-touch the corporate American media has become with the electorate and political reality and how desperate they are to play identity politics around sexual orientation and other topics even if it means their nemesis President Trump – stays in office for another term.  

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