During a recent appearance on MSNBC, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg shot down a homophobic diatribe launched against him by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who crudely mocked Buttigieg for taking family leave upon the adoption by him and his husband of two young children. As Carlson mockingly put it: “Paternity leave, they call it, trying to figure out how to breastfeed – no word on how that went.” Paternity leave isn’t all that complicated — Carlson’s personal brand simply hinges on willful idiocy.
On MSNBC, Buttigieg noted the oddity of Carlson and the GOP’s opposition to the concept of paid family leave in general. Democratic leaders have proposed paid family leave for all Americans as part of the $3.5 trillion spending package under consideration. Discussing Carlson’s comments and the context for them, Buttigieg observed as follows:
‘What’s really strange is that this is from a side of the aisle that used to claim the mantle of being pro-family. What we have right now is an administration that’s actually pro-family, and I’m blessed to be able to experience that as an employee… We as a society, I think, are starting to do a better job of recognizing that parenting is work, that caregiving is work, and supporting it as such, which is of course why the president has proposed paid family leave for all Americans — something most Americans already believe that we oughta do and something that most highly developed countries pretty much take for granted.’
Asked more directly about Carlson in particular, Buttigieg referred to the college yearbook listing that the Fox host was in something called the “Dan White Society,” which doesn’t actually exist. Dan White, however, was the name of the man who killed Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States. Buttigieg also put Carlson on blast for failing to represent the views of many Americans with his remarks. In other words, as Buttigieg laid it out, Carlson may think that he’s some kind of valiant defender of freedom, or whatever — but he’s just an idiot.
As Buttigieg put it:
‘This attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk. So, you know, obviously we know that there’s some dark places where some of these attitudes come from. But I also note that that doesn’t speak for the country. I don’t think that even speaks for most people, on the other side of the aisle from the party that I belong to.’
Watch Buttigieg’s comments on Carlson below:
Sec. Pete Buttigieg calls out Tucker Carlson for the attack on his parental leave, "This attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk, " pic.twitter.com/DsyQgCyUNO
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) October 15, 2021