July 15, 2019 at 4:05 pm EDT | by Mariah Cooper
New Republic retracts controversial Pete Buttigieg op-ed
Pete Buttigieg.(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The New Republic, a magazine that covers art and politics, has retracted a controversial op-ed about Pete Buttigieg written by openly gay literary critic Dale Peck.

NBC News reports that the op-ed, titled “My Mayor Pete Problem,” references the South Bend, Ind. mayor as “Mary Pete” throughout the article. Peck also refers to Buttigieg as “the gay equivalent of Uncle Tom.”

Peck questions Buttigieg’s ability to be president because Buttigieg came out later on in life.

“The last thing I want in the White House is a gay man staring down 40 who suddenly realizes he didn’t get to have all the fun his straight peers did when they were teenagers,” Peck wrote.

In another part of the op-ed, Peck writes that the difference between Buttigieg and the other “well-educated reasonably intelligent white dude who wanna be president is what he does with his d—.”‘

The article was published on Friday and by Saturday had been taken down by New Republic after it was slammed on social media for its offensive content.

Editor-in-Chief Win McCormack issued an apology to Buttigieg and to New Republic’s readers.

“I want to extend our sincerest apologies to Mayor Buttigieg, as well as to our readers for an article that was inappropriate and offensive,” McCormack said in the statement. “We have high standards at The New Republic, but sometimes we fall short. Yesterday we made a mistake, but we remain committed to honoring the tradition of high standards and journalistic integrity that have been the hallmark of The New Republic for more than 100 years.”

New Republic editor Chris Lehmann claimed to CNN that the op-ed was intended to be taken as satire.

“The New Republic recognizes that this post crossed a line, and while it was largely intended as satire, it was inappropriate and invasive,” Lehmann told CNN’s Brian Stelter.

However, Peck shared the story on his Facebook page and appeared to indicate that the story wasn’t meant to be satirical.

“So I took your all’s advice and made my view on Mary Pete public. I guess I’m not going to get a cabinet position now. Or an NEA grant. Or be honored at the Carnegie Center and get to have my Aretha moment where I drop my mink on the stage. But maybe if I’m lucky I’ll still get to make a president cry,” Peck wrote. “(Entre nous: The New Republic went with the nice title. My suggestion was ‘Basic Bitch.’)”

Despite the publication’s apology, the magazine suffered at least one sponsorship hit. The League of Conservation Voters has cut ties with an upcoming climate change forum co-hosted by the New Republic.

“The offensive piece by this author, and the choice to run it, are inconsistent with our values and LCV is withdrawing our participation in the presidential primary candidate climate forum previously announced in New York City on September 23,” LCV’s President Gene Karpinski said in a statement. “We will remain focused on the important work of elevating the climate crisis in this election and encouraging all the candidates to be prioritizing solutions.”

Buttigieg commented on the controversy telling the Associated Press, “I appreciated that [the] article was taken down. I don’t think it really reflects the New Republic that I know.”

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