The suppression of any and all things conservative took an ugly turn yesterday when Politico staffers recoiled at the invitation to conservative writer Ben Shapiro to join the staff for the online publication’s popular “Playbook” section on Thursday.
One staffer said in a Politico company-wide Slack channel that Shapiro has a “long history of bigoted and incendiary commentary.” This is a baseless, false allegation. Shapiro may be a partisan, but he’s hardly a bomb-thrower. Shapiro wrote in his “Playbook” posting, “Republicans believe that Democrats and the overwhelmingly liberal media see impeachment as an attempt to cudgel them collectively by lumping them in with the Capitol rioters thanks to their support for Trump.”
This is self-evident. Besides, Shapiro was claiming it was what Republicans believe, not him personally. Democrats and the left may be uncomfortable being called out for their despicable politics but, given the attempts to stifle conservative thought on social media and elsewhere, what other conclusion can be drawn?
“It has clearly generated a wave of negative attention, and I fear it’s already overshadowing a lot of great work being done by journalists across this newsroom,” the staffer said, according to the Daily Beast. Several dozen of this staffer’s Politico colleagues reportedly upvoted this comment.
Another staffer reportedly responded to this comment saying, “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.’
A conservative can’t write about race in an “elevated, thoughtful way”? Says who? Because Shapiro doesn’t toe the BLM line of white hatred he can’t write about race? Do any of those staffers have any idea what Shapiro’s views on race are? They are judging him based solely on his ideology, which has been deemed “racist.”
“Liberal” used to mean “open-minded.” Not anymore.
Politico defended its decision in a statement released Thursday.
“We have taken great care to assemble a roster of guest authors who are prominent thinkers and writers and represent a range of perspectives,” the statement said, according to Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple. “What sets Politico apart in this intense political and media moment is that we rise above partisanship and ideological warfare — even as many seek to drag us into it.”
Apparently, it’s OK for Politico staff members to drag the publication into the partisan and ideological wars. Otherwise, that statement is tone-deaf.
“It’s a core value of the publication that is unchangeable, and that above all protects our ability to do independent journalism,” the statement continued. “It’s a part of our mission.”
Top editor Matt Kaminski also told staffers in a Thursday meeting that Politico stands “by every word in there,” noting that it was “very closely edited,” according to the Daily Beast.
The schism between the woke staffers and the more rational editorial staff has been seen throughout the left media. The staffers want to ban or suppress conservatives. They don’t recognize their own partisan hatred of the opposition. They are oblivious to their own faulty assumptions and flawed reasoning.
Politico will likely bow to the staff pressure before the grumbling becomes a revolt. But it’s a sad commentary on the media landscape in America in 2021.