The decade's most triggering comedy
WIRED Magazine took a beating on social media for a Thursday puff piece on U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
The outlet touts itself as a site where “conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design.” But Thursday’s front page “big interview” — titled “Pete Buttigieg Loves God, Beer, and His Electric Mustang” — barely contains author Virginia Heffernan’s fawning admiration for the former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
“THE CURIOUS MIND of Pete Buttigieg holds much of its functionality in reserve. Even as he discusses railroads and airlines, down to the pointillist data that is his current stock-in-trade, the US secretary of transportation comes off like a Mensa black card holder who might have a secret Go habit or a three-second Rubik’s Cube solution or a knack for supplying, off the top of his head, the day of the week for a random date in 1404, along with a non-condescending history of the Julian and Gregorian calendars,” the piece begins, and it does not slow down.
“I slowly became aware that his cabinet job requires only a modest portion of his cognitive powers,” Heffernan continues. “Other mental facilities, no kidding, are apportioned to the ‘Iliad,’ Puritan historiography, and Knausgaard’s ‘Spring’—though not in the original Norwegian (slacker). Fortunately, he was willing to devote yet another apse in his cathedral mind to making his ideas about three mighty themes—neoliberalism, masculinity, and Christianity—intelligible to me.”
Heffernan’s effusive praise was not lost on critics, who quickly pointed out that the article was more fluff than substantive interview.
“I legitimately wasn’t sure if this article was a parody … The American people deserve better from our media than this slobbering,” Meghan McCain commented. “Pete took WEEKS to visit a toxic dump in Palestine, Ohio and has had a string of controversies, screw ups & tone deaf responses since in office.”
“With this kind of glowing coverage, Biden and Kamala must be hearing footsteps!” Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) added.
“To fully appreciate what Wired has become, you have to compare the doe-eyed admiration of Buttigieg profile to the furious contempt of the Brandon Sanderson profile,” another said.
“Please read this entire profile with the understanding that it isn’t parody …” Joe Concha advised.
The Federalist’s Sean Davis added, “I asked ChatGPT to write the most obscene, over-the-top hagiography in the style of a deranged superfan with no self-awareness writing about her crush—an utterly unimpressive dullard with chronic verbal diarrhea—and this is what it came up with.”
“‘Hey, let’s tone it down a notch, Wired’ – North Korean State TV,” said David Burge.
“This is the most unintentionally hilarious thing you will read all week,” was Emily Zanotti’s assessment.