Politico issued a clarification Friday after an LGBTQ group took issue with the outlet describing tiffs between two Democratic candidates as a “pillow fight” in its Thursday issue.

Playbook PM, an afternoon newsletter from Politico, described arguments that South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been having with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as a “pillow fight” Thursday. GLAAD, an LGBTQ media monitoring organization, took issue with the description, writing that it “fosters negative connotations” because Buttigieg is gay.

Politico Playbook, a morning newsletter from the publication, issued a clarification Friday explaining what was meant by calling Buttigieg’s spat a “pillow fight.”

“GLAAD sent us a note yesterday about Playbook PM, noting that our use of ‘pillow fight’ when describing a fight between Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren may have offended people,” Politico Playbook co-authors Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer wrote Friday. “That was not our intent — pillow fight, in our mind, connotes a fight where no one draws blood.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks as South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg raises his hand during the Democratic presidential primary debate on December 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

GLAAD spokesman Drew Anderson told Politico that using the phrase “pillow fight” when describing LGBTQ people “diminishes a person simply because of who they are.”

Anderson continued on to explain how the phrase was one of many “loaded terms” that should not be used in political coverage. (GLAAD Scolds Gay US Ambassador For Criticizing Buttigieg’s Attacks On Pence)

“For women and LGBTQ people at the workplace, hearing phrases like ‘dramatic,’ ‘over the top,’ and even ‘pillow fight’ during office disagreements fosters negative stereotypes and diminishes a person simply because of who they are,” said Anderson.

“Disagreements happen in politics, but using these loaded terms during disputes feed into the sexist and homophobic tropes that simply have no place in our political coverage and rhetoric.”

Playbook PM item that sparked the backlash said Buttigieg has “been a bit sidetracked by his pillow fight with” Warren. The two Democratic candidates got into a heated disagreement over money and wealthy people in politics during Thursday’s debate.

Warren has criticized Buttigieg’s decision to fundraise with wealthy donors, bringing up a “wine cave” event that the latter held.

“Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States,” Warren quipped during the debate.

Buttigieg replied by noting that he is “literally the only person on this stage who is not a millionaire or a billionaire.”

“So this is the problem with issuing purity tests you cannot yourself pass,” the South Bend mayor continued.

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