Conservatives accuse Pete Buttigieg of threatening right-wing journalist

Pete and Chasten Buttigieg as the Daily Caller reporter followed them at night
Pete and Chasten Buttigieg as the Daily Caller reporter followed them at night Photo: Screenshot

Many on the right are enraged at out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg for trying to “threaten” a right-wing journalist by smiling and asking to take a picture of her after she was following him on the street.

Conservative media, elected Republican officials, and right-wing pundits have been attacking Buttigieg and blaming him for the train derailment in Ohio. Buttigieg has said that the end of a specific regulation related to trains during the Trump administration is at fault.

Moreover, conservatives have accused both Buttigieg and President Joe Biden of not caring about people in East Palestine, Ohio, where the derailment occurred, because they have not yet visited the site.

Jennie Taer, who works for Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, approached Buttigieg and his husband Chasten Buttigieg on the street in D.C. yesterday. Buttigieg said, smiling, “Hi, how are you doing?”

Taer identifies herself then asks: “What do you have to say to the folks in Ohio, East Palestine, who are suffering right now?”

Buttigieg told her to read or watch any of the “about a dozen interviews I’ve given today” to know his response to that question. He also suggested she contact the Department of Transportation’s press office to set up an interview.

“Do you have a message for them?” Taer asked again, as if she didn’t hear Buttigieg’s response.

After some back and forth where Taer continued to ask Buttigieg for “a message” for people in Ohio, he informed her that he’s “taking some personal time, and I’m walking down the street.”

She changed her question and asked if he was going to Ohio, and he said that he will be going to East Palestine. He has a visit scheduled for today, according to the Advocate.

He then took out his phone and asked, “Can I get a photo of you?”

“Yeah!” she replied cheerily, and her video ended.

On Twitter, Taer wasn’t as cheery.

“I asked Secretary Buttigieg about the crisis in East Palestine and I guess he didn’t like that so he took a pic of me,” she said. She didn’t explain why taking a picture of someone in public – someone who was following a high-ranking government official at night and then asking him where he will be in the next few days – is so bad, especially considering he asked for permission. “Im just doing my job, sir.”

She wasn’t the only right-winger who saw something sinister in Buttigieg’s request for a photo. Music video director Robby Starbuck called the request for a pic “absolutely unacceptable.”

Fox News reporter Harris Faulkner was particularly offended by the exchange: “‘Can I get a photo with you?’ Of course we know the challenge there is that intimidation. What exactly is that?”

Popular rightwing Twitter personality Paul A. Szypula said that he could see “rage in Pete Buttigieg’s eyes” which he said Buttigieg felt because a “female reporter… dares to ask him why he’s not doing his job and addressing the East Palestine, Ohio disaster.”

The replies to many of these tweets were homophobic.

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

The LGBTQ+ population has doubled in the last decade

Previous article

Woman arrested for starting fire with a Pride flag screams “He is King!” in court

Next article