TAKE THE QUIZ: How Weird Was the 'Wired' Interview With Pete Buttigieg?

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

What do you get when you cross a cheap Soviet propaganda piece with a spot-on Babylon Bee parody of America’s mainstream media? You get Wired’s interview with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.


Headlined “Pete Buttigieg Loves God, Beer, and His Electric Mustang,” Virginia Heffernan’s airier-than-a-puff-piece reads like Marianne Williamson on shrooms interviewing Marianne Williamson on edibles.

Whatever you want to call it, Heffernan’s creation has been making the rounds on social media for all the wrong reasons, so I thought you, gentle reader, and I might play a game with it together.

I’ll show you several pairs of sentences. In each pair, one will be an actual line from Wired and the other is something I made up. You try to guess which is which, and there will be a key at the end revealing the correct answers.

Remember, whether the line is real or fake, they’re all about Pete Buttigieg. That should give all of us pause.

Good luck, and no scrolling down to peek at the key!


A) “As Secretary Buttigieg and I talked in his underfurnished corner office one afternoon in early spring, I slowly became aware that his cabinet job requires only a modest portion of his cognitive powers.”

B) “A first-time meeting with Secretary Buttigieg in his working habitat is the beginning of understanding, a process of accepting the necessity that your cognitive limits are not his own.”


A) “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.”

B) “The jungle-like density of his knowledge would have made his mind impenetrable to even the hardiest explorer, but the man affectionately known as “Mayor Pete” is the hospitable guide who wrings comfort out of confusion.”



A) “He now recognizes that the persistence of far-right ideology, with its masculinist and antidemocratic preoccupations, is part of the reason that neoliberalism has come undone.”

B) “Like the infrastructure Buttigieg commands rises above the dualist nature of white supremacism, the man himself is immune to the petty forces of destruction below him.”


A) “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.”

B) “To carry on a conversation with Pete Buttigieg is to hold court with a roomful of friendly experts, each with seeming total knowledge in their most esoteric of fields, whether you need to know precisely how many miles of commuter rail are needed to transition Boston away from automobiles, a recitation of the Ashtavakra Gita in its original Hindu, or just a perfectly made glass of iced tea.”


A) “Are there more ways the challenges of transportation speak to your spiritual side?”

B) “What role did faith play in untangling the supply-chain mess left by your predecessor?”


A) “I was also fascinated by the way that Buttigieg, who has long described himself as obsessed with technology and data, has responded to the gendering of tech, and especially green tech, by fearsome culture warriors, including Marjorie Taylor Greene.”


B) “Not everyone, it seems, even wants a rising standard of living if it means they have to accept the greater enfranchisement of undesirables, including, of course, women, poor people, Black people, and the usual demons in the sights of the world’s Ted Cruzes and Tucker Carlsons.”

Recommended: Who Wants to Help Me Watch Chicago Commit Suicide?

The answer key is just below this splendid video from KTLA News showing the Port of Los Angeles closing down due to a worker shortage.

OK, are you ready for the answers? You didn’t just scroll right down here like some kind of savage without reading the quiz first?

I’m going to have to trust you on this one, so here you go.

All the correct answer to all questions was A) except for SIX, which was a trick question. On that one, both quotes were written by Virginia Heffernan.

How did you do? I only got four correct, and I wrote the silly thing.


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