If there’s one thing the mainstream media loves doing almost as much as they do shilling for Democrats and their pet causes it’s pointing out supposedly historic “firsts” in U.S. politics.
With every election cycle comes the breathless stories about how so and so could be the “first woman with 7 degrees and a 4-car garage” to be elected to serve as county commissioner, or how another person has become the “first bixsexual man with two dogs” to win a city council seat in Podunk City, USA.
So when failed 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was confirmed Tuesday as Joe Biden’s Transportation Secretary, the media rushed to tweet on how the former South Bend, Indiana mayor was the “first openly gay cabinet member” of a presidential administration in history.
This was how CBS News covered the story:
BREAKING: The Senate confirmed Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation with a vote of 8c6-13; the former South Bend mayor is the first openly LGBTQ cabinet secretary.
— Ben Tracy (@benstracy) February 2, 2021
With a vote of 86-13, the Senate has confirmed @PeteButtigieg as the Secretary of Transportation. He’s making history as the first openly LGBTQ cabinet secretary.
— Weijia Jiang (@weijia) February 2, 2021
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) February 2, 2021
Here’s White House comms guy Matt Hill passing along the fake news as well:
Congratulations to @PeteButtigieg for his groundbreaking confirmation as America's first openly gay cabinet member. Historic days like today I am especially proud to be gay and proud to be an American. https://t.co/HyEHShnd20
— Matt Hill (@MattHill46) February 2, 2021
The problem, of course, is that Mayor Pete is not the first “openly gay” cabinet member in a presidential administration. That distinction goes to former acting DNI Richard Grenell, which NBC News noted in corrected tweet:
Correction: Buttigieg is first openly gay person to be confirmed as a Cabinet secretary.
Under Pres. Trump, Richard Grenell served as acting director of national intelligence and is openly gay, but did not face confirmation as an acting director.
A new tweet will be issued. pic.twitter.com/mKRFDGp2Gs
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 2, 2021
Not to be outdone, Grenell himself took to the Twitter machine to correct the record as only he could:
Congratulations to @PeteButtigieg on becoming the second openly gay member of a President’s Cabinet.
Welcome to the club! pic.twitter.com/BbKK6iTBW1
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) February 2, 2021
The problem here is not so much the fact that the media overlooked Grenell in particular but the fact that they are often quick to ignore firsts when those “firsts in history” come from Republicans. The media, like Democrats, treats female Republicans, gay Republicans, black Republicans, and other minority Republicans as if they are inauthentic representations of their respective group and thusly don’t count because they don’t toe the liberal line.
Good on Grenell for handling the media’s slight in a classy way, but reporters really need to take to heart the message from former First Lady Melania Trump on how to “be best. Because when it comes to reporting accurately on ground-breaking firsts, their willful ignorance of the accomplishments of Republicans leaves a helluva lot to be desired. Not only that, but it also opens media outlets up to more criticism that their supposed commitment to respecting a diversity of viewpoints is nothing but worthless virtue signaling.