The right-wing outrage machine never rests, it seems, but their newest uproar is a reach even by conservative standards.
Right-wingers are crying foul after Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was filmed riding his bike from the Department of Transportation to a meeting at the White House, claiming he staged the entire thing.
Conservatives were so up in arms an entire conspiracy theory-inflected discourse ignited on Twitter—one that was quickly and easily debunked with the most minimal of efforts.
Great way to get around! https://t.co/UdDdhxBgnD— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@Secretary Pete Buttigieg)1617323739.0
The conservative claim, amplified by everyone from Republican former presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway to far-right ideologue Dinesh D'souza, was Buttigieg had his security detail drive him up to the White House in an SUV and then he biked the remaining few steps to the building purely for a photo-op.
As often happens with right-wing controversies, all but one detail in that version of the event is false.
Buttigieg did in fact arrive in his security detail's SUV with his bicycle on a rack on the back of the vehicle, as the video from CNN's DJ Judd which sparked the controversy showed. But security drove him to the Department of Transportation building, not the White House.
In other words, Buttigieg comes into D.C. to his office then uses a bike to get around the capital.
Details like pavement markings and security structures seen in the video give away the location as the Department of Transportation. That building is about three miles from the White House, or about a 20-minute bike ride according to Google Maps.
And, as another journalist captured on video, Buttigieg rode his bicycle back to Transportation after his meeting as well.
@DJJudd And biked out of the complex. https://t.co/M50jDbEQ1s— Katie Barlow (@Katie Barlow)1617312825.0
But the conservative outcry was so intense—with far-right news outlet Breitbart decrying Buttigieg as a "virtue-signaling eco fraud," for instance—even fact-checking site Snopes weighed in on this claim, giving a detailed explanation of why it rated an unequivocal "False."
On Twitter, people couldn't help but see the absurdity of this latest conservative controversy.
@lgbtqnation @Kvverra @SecretaryPete I mean, really?! How are they going to spin it when someone catches him going… https://t.co/zAmzYdKEjs— TW 🐝💛🌎⚖️ (@TW 🐝💛🌎⚖️)1617635903.0
More right wing bs! https://t.co/TC5fMCzzOn— Kevin B. (@Kevin B.)1617646407.0
@VickiJoyce - The MAGA’s are getting desperate in their Bizarro World? Pete Buttigieg’s bicycle stars in the lates… https://t.co/A7LbqKwtPQ— 💧🌈❤️Graham Lebbern - Anti-Fascist.😷 (@💧🌈❤️Graham Lebbern - Anti-Fascist.😷)1617643903.0
@snopes I’m at the point where I’m laughing at the absurdity of the bs from the “far” crazies from both sides— Socially Distant Lovser (is vaccinated)🐝 🍷🛣🚆🛫 (@Socially Distant Lovser (is vaccinated)🐝 🍷🛣🚆🛫)1617485095.0
@DenaePFA @snopes I think Pete has gone from Rent-free to Permanent Resident.— Darin James 🐝 (@Darin James 🐝)1617489737.0
The fact that we even have to have this conversation means there are just too many losers out there in the world. A… https://t.co/8ppeMVMkZR— edgarallanwhoa 🐝🍷✈️ (@edgarallanwhoa 🐝🍷✈️)1617543885.0
@KellyannePolls @CNN This video simply shows him getting his bike out of the suv where it had been put for safekeep… https://t.co/PiNDw0hJ3z— M&M (@M&M)1617559112.0
The fact that right-wingers are lying about Pete *riding a bike* just shows how ridiculous they are... and also tha… https://t.co/znTvIcAVPa— Brianna Nichols (@Brianna Nichols)1617491234.0
I don't know if I should laugh or cry, but I guess we'll take it. The Right is in such denial of climate change tha… https://t.co/XNXFs7afBs— 🍷🐝🚄Auntie Ouakam🚄🐝🍷 (@🍷🐝🚄Auntie Ouakam🚄🐝🍷)1617482776.0
Imagine being triggered that a gay man rode a bicycle to a meeting.— Peter Flax (@Peter Flax)1617375805.0
For his part, Buttigieg, who is a well-known cyclist and was frequently seen biking around South Bend, Indiana during his tenure as mayor of the city, made no comment on the controversy except to share Judd's tweet showing him biking away.
Not exactly the behavior of someone caught red-handed doing something shady.