Politico staff erupted into outrage over the paper featuring conservative firebrand Ben Shapiro as a guest writer for the magazine’s signature “Politico Playbook” newsletter on Thursday.
According to the Daily Beast, the beltway paper faced sufficient backlash “both internally and externally,” provoking Editor-in-Chief Matt Kaminski to call a staff meeting to address the repercussions of a legacy outlet such as Politico hosting a conservative pundit.
“We published a piece by a very prominent writer, provocateur, and podcaster,” Kaminski said to an infuriated staff, the Beast reported. “We stand by every word in there, it was very closely edited.”
Politico has been filling the editorial vacancy left by the previous authors of the newsletter with high-profile media personalities until replacements are announced. Other notable names that have been featured include CBS’s Weijia Jiang and PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, who is really an activist.
Writing Thursday, Shapiro spent his column highlighting double-standards over the second House impeachment passed this week, justifying the votes of Republican lawmakers who opted against it.
“Opposition to impeachment comes from a deep and abiding conservative belief that members of the opposing political tribe want their destruction, not simply to punish Trump for his behavior,” Shapiro said of the movement to oust the president for allegedly inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol this month. “If you supported Trump in any way, you were at least partially culpable, the argument goes. It’s not just Trump who deserves vitriol — it’s all 74 million people who voted for him.”
Shapiro’s guest column was met with the typical outrage that has become routine among newsroom staff, bewildered at the post-university universe whenever it seeks to engage outside opinion. Of course, complaints characteristically involved accusations of racism and bigotry.
“Internally at Politico, several staffers raised concerns about the decision to allow [Shapiro] to guest-write the key newsletter, even for a day,” the Daily Beast reported. Never mind that left-wing MSNBC star Chris Hayes guest-wrote Politico’s Playbook just one day prior. “One staffer pointed out in a company-wide Slack channel that the right-wing pundit has a ‘long history of bigoted and incendiary commentary,’ making it especially inappropriate to elevate him.”
Again, Hayes, who in November claimed President Donald Trump was conducting “mass slaughter,” guest-authored Politico’s Playbook Wednesday.
“This is especially confusing given the newsroom’s welcome efforts over the last year to cover issues related to race in a more intentional, elevated, thoughtful way,” another Politico staffer reportedly said of Shapiro’s guest authorship.
My point: conservatives believe that Leftists want to ostracize them as evil, and then shut them down
Politico staff: conservatives ought to be ostracized as evil and then shut down https://t.co/fndRTncKwy
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 14, 2021
The meltdown at Politico is reminiscent of when the New York Times published a well-reasoned op-ed by a sitting U.S. senator last summer, headlined “Send In The Troops,” demanding the president invoke the Insurrection Act to quell the violent riots sweeping the nation’s major cities. Employees at the Times protested their employer’s decision to run the piece, declaring in solidarity on Twitter, “Running this puts Black @nytimes staffers in danger.”
The response at the nation’s preeminent legacy newspaper should have mimicked Politico’s this week, refusing to apologize for circulating content its left-wing staff declared offensive. Instead, the Times caved and revealed its intellectual bankruptcy, apologizing for its decision and ousting the editor responsible.
In a sweet irony months later, Democrats actively cheered the estimated 20,000 troops descending on Washington, D.C., ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration, as if armored tanks driven by Trump supporters were gearing up to launch a second Civil War. It’s true that federal law enforcement has raised warnings of political violence next week. They haven’t signaled another Battle of Bull Run.
Nancy Pelosi criticized the use of the military to guard the Lincoln Memorial after DC experienced multiple riots last year. pic.twitter.com/hY5UPNVacE
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) January 13, 2021
The Politico experience this week showcases how modern newsrooms have become the new college campus, where dissenting opinions are not just unwelcome, but declared dangerous by the woketopians who graduated from them.
The story of Shapiro inflaming outrage among Politico staff by merely offering an opposing worldview is all too familiar to the universities that have hosted him, triggering students who ironically pursue careers that are supposed to force them into debating different opinions. Those same students are now permeating the nation’s newsrooms.
An MSNBC prime-time host can enjoy the red-carpet treatment, but inviting Shapiro might invite a riot.