Fact Check: Image Of Pete Buttigieg Breastfeeding Is NOT Real -- It's Photoshopped

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Image Of Pete Buttigieg Breastfeeding Is NOT Real -- It's Photoshopped Fact Check: Image Of Pete Buttigieg Breastfeeding Is NOT Real -- It's Photoshopped Photoshopped

Did U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg pose for a photo wearing a breastfeeding device? No, that's not true: This image seen in the top portion of this meme has been digitally altered using photo-editing tools. The actual person's face, modeled in a blog for mothers, was replaced with a professional headshot of Buttigieg.

The image appeared in a meme in this Facebook post (archived here) on October 16, 2021. Above the meme, which features two images -- Buttigieg holding an infant and wearing a breastfeeding device, and ships outside a port -- the caption opened:

Been on "maternity leave" since August.
Clown world.

The text in the meme reads:



This is what the Facebook post looked like on October 19, 2021:

buttigieg screenshot.png

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue October 19 21:04:47 2021 UTC)

U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, has been criticized by some about the recent supply chain crisis and his parental leave.

Lead Stories used TinEye reverse image search to identify both the original photo of Buttigieg's headshot as well as the male breastfeeding photo used to alter the image. The official portrait of Buttigieg goes back to May of 2018, when he was mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

The photo displaying a man wearing a breastfeeding device and holding a child comes from this March, 2019 article found on Motherly, an online community blog about motherhood tips. It shows a Japanese man modeling a new breastfeeding system known as the Father's Nursing Assistant, as provided by this additional TinEye search.


(Image source: Lead Stories composite with mother.ly and southbendin.gov screenshots taken on Tue October 19 19:17:38 2021 UTC)

This is not the first controversial claim Lead Stories has debunked concerning Buttigieg's headshot being digitally manipulated into a separate photo. That earlier article can be found here.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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