Whether he's drumming up hatred for non-white immigrants or promoting white supremacist conspiracy theories to his millions of viewers, far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson is infamous for his harmful and deluded diatribes.
Most recently, Carlson complained about the paternity leave of Transportation Department Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Buttigieg and his husband Chasten recently adopted children, and Buttigieg has been off for two months in order to help the latest members of his family get acquainted with their new lives.
Carlson slammed Buttigieg for taking this time, and made a homophobic attempt at a joke in the process.
Tucker Carlson mocks Pete Buttigieg for taking paternity leave: "Paternity leave, they call it, trying to figure ou… https://t.co/OHCEV1miGX— nikki mccann screamírez 👻 (@nikki mccann screamírez 👻) 1634256697.0
"'Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child. Paternity leave,' they call it, Trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went."
The pundit's comments received widespread backlash.
Buttigieg, known for his calm but devastating comebacks, used the viral moment to advocate for paid family leave, a key component in Biden's infrastructure agenda currently stalling in Congress.
Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg uses Tucker Carlson's homophobic paternity leave slight about him to call for paid family leave:
"We're pretty much the only country left that doesn't have some kind of national policy for paid leave." pic.twitter.com/4rwa3hJA42
— The Recount (@therecount) October 17, 2021
Buttigieg told CNN's Jake Tapper:
"As you might imagine, we're bottle feeding, and doing it at all hours of the day and night. I'm not going to apologize to Tucker Carlson or anyone else for taking care of my premature infant newborn twins. The work that we are doing is joyful, fulfilling, wonderful work. It's important work, and it's work that every American ought to be able to do when they welcome a new child into their family. ... The Build Back Better agenda includes provisions for paid family leave.
It's long past time to make it possible for every American mother and father to take care of their children when a new child arrives in the family.""
People praised the Transportation Secretary's response.
You’re not going to see me saying this often, but Pete is dead right on this one. It’s pathetic that he has to even… https://t.co/ek3moaEBck— Matt Irby (@Matt Irby) 1634564194.0
Why is this so controversial? It was only 6 weeks and he have an undersecretary who can make decisions too. Pete is… https://t.co/tCminQwoqR— Joe Sam Biden 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈 (@Joe Sam Biden 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈) 1634494596.0
The grouchy, cynical part of me is annoyed that parental leave is finally getting more airtime because a man is spe… https://t.co/GOalVrInV4— Nellie Blithe (@Nellie Blithe) 1634491251.0
Carlson's screed continues to generate backlash.
Pete Buttigieg could kick Tucker Carlson’s ass. https://t.co/BeXDRepTHA— Joe Walsh (@Joe Walsh) 1634262448.0
Fellas is it gay to be a good father to your children https://t.co/vfggJ35ecl— Adam Serwer 🍝 (@Adam Serwer 🍝) 1634263401.0
crude homophobia on the most-watched cable news show https://t.co/MflDsHkjuW— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1634260575.0
It’s good for dads to be closely involved in their kids’ lives, so they won’t grow up to be like Tucker. https://t.co/6gjqob3GjH— NotIntoGoldenPopehat (@NotIntoGoldenPopehat) 1634263039.0
This is, um, extremely homophobic, yes? https://t.co/tpelIEXz5V— Cody Johnston (@Cody Johnston) 1634265020.0
Buttigieg, however, seems unfazed.