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Chasten Buttigieg Rips Fox News For Harping On Pete's Paternity Leave: 'Go Yell At An M&M'

The subject of the Transportation Secretary's paternity leave has been a source of outrage for the conservative news network for well over a year.

Instagram screenshot of Chasten and Pete Buttigieg with their two children

Educator, author and activist Chasten Buttigieg criticized Fox News for suggesting his husband—Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg—was in the wrong when he refused to take a call from a Republican lawmaker while he was on paternity leave following the birth of their twins.

A recent Fox News article criticized Pete Buttigieg for not taking a call from Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley as well as for not participating in “an hour-long Zoom call for an event with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce" while on leave.

Paternity leave is a period of absence from work granted to a father after or shortly before the birth of his child that "can promote parent-child bonding, improve outcomes for children, and even increase gender equity at home and at the workplace," according to the Department of Labor (DOL).

But conservatives have repeatedly harped on the Transportation Secretary for taking paternity leave in 2021 and Fox News went so far as to print internal Department of Transportation (DOT) emails, implying Pete Buttigieg was up to no good at a time when it was publicly known he was caring for his newborn children.

A clearly annoyed Chasten Buttigieg quickly fired back at Fox News:

"This morning the twins helped pick our their sweaters, scooted down the stairs, ran to their chairs, and sat at the table eating scrambled eggs with forks. They said 'bye bye dada' on the way out the door."
"It's been 17 months. You need new material. Go yell at an M&M."

You can see Chasten Buttigieg's tweet below.

Chasten Buttigieg's mention of M&M's is a reference to the most recent manufactured conservative outrage, this one concerning Mars Inc.—the company which produces M&M's—and its announcement it would produce packs “spotlighting dynamic female M&M’S characters.”

The new packs of candy "celebrate women everywhere who are flipping the status quo," Mars said in a press release, noting the packaging "will feature Purple, Brown and Green on inspirational packaging."

But that proved too much for Fox News, who was quick to point out the dangers of celebrating female empowerment.

Many appreciated Chasten Buttigieg's comeback and joined him in criticizing Fox News.

Pete Buttigieg's high-profile as a gay man in one of the government's top positions forced him to respond to attacks against him, his sexuality, his relationship with his husband and the fact they have children.

The pushback against his decision to take paternity leave has long served as the basis for homophobic smears.