Media

NBC Issues Correction On Tweet After Erasing Ric Grenell By Claiming Pete Buttigieg Is ‘First Openly Gay’ Cabinet Member

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Shelby Talcott Media Reporter
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NBC News was forced to delete and correct a tweet after falsely declaring Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to be “the first openly gay member of a presidential Cabinet” Tuesday evening.

The former South Bend, Indiana mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate was confirmed into his new position Tuesday by the Senate. Shortly after, some members of the press and publications like NBC News began claiming Buttigieg was the first openly gay Cabinet member – erasing former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, who is openly gay and served under former President Donald Trump.

“Correction: Buttigieg is first openly gay person to be confirmed as a Cabinet secretary,” NBC News wrote after its original tweet about the news. “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.”

NBC News’ new tweet clarified that Buttigieg is “the first openly gay person to be confirmed as a Cabinet secretary,” as Grenell served as a Cabinet member but was not confirmed by the Senate for the position. (RELATED: ‘Another Slap In The Face’: Media Melts Down After Trump Picks Grenell As Acting DNI)

The publication was not the only one to snub Grenell. The Washington Post’s White House reporter Matt Viser originally tweeted that Buttigieg is “the first openly gay Cabinet member.” Viser later deleted this tweet and issued a correction, pointing out that “while he is the first openly gay Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate,” Buttigieg is not “the first openly gay Cabinet member.”

Similarly, NBC News’ national political reporter Sahil Kapur gave Buttigieg the incorrect award before later tweeting out a clarification.

Following the confirmation, Grenell issued a congratulations message to Buttigieg for the new position.