Jul 15, 2019

The climate forum fallout from The New Republic's Buttigieg fiasco

Ben Geman, author of Generate

The New Republic will no longer co-host a climate forum for Democratic presidential hopefuls following criticism over a now-retracted article attacking Pete Buttigieg.

The big picture: It's a stumble for efforts to deepen the election-cycle discussion of global warming.

Driving the news: Gizmodo said Saturday that TNR is withdrawing from the Sept. 23 event the 2 outlets co-planned, but that the forum will still happen and they're "seeking additional media partners."

  • "This incident was entirely inconsistent with our values as journalists and with the inclusive atmosphere we intend to foster at the event," Maddie Stone, managing editor of Gizmodo's Earther site, wrote in a statement.
  • Several environmental groups also pulled sponsorship for the event after the TNR story. It's unclear if any groups will reconsider now that TNR is out.

Catch up fast: The TNR article by openly gay literary critic Dale Peck described Buttigieg as "the gay equivalent of Uncle Tom" and referred to the South Bend, Indiana, mayor as "Mary Pete" throughout, per NBC News.

  • It attracted intense backlash Friday, and TNR yanked it Saturday and apologized.

This is one of at least two climate forums — events where hopefuls appear sequentially but aren't onstage together — organized thus far.

  • A Georgetown University politics institute and the news service Our Daily Planet are hosting a forum Sept. 17–18.
  • The DNC has rebuffed calls to schedule or sanction a formal primary debate on climate.

Go deeper: Climate forum for 2020 Democrats set for September

Go deeper

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