The editor-in-chief of Politico pushed back against his bigoted leftist staff after they attempted a New York Times-style coup for publishing a well-known conservative centrist.
Radio host Ben Shapiro has often framed himself as the voice of reason and moderation, typically directing his arguments to a younger, more left-oriented audience.
The former Breitbart editor, who now oversees The Daily Wire and his own syndicated radio show, has hosted a regular segment on Snapchat and is known for his viral memes in which he takes down irrational left-wing questioners at public appearances.
In addition to his youthful appeal, Shapiro was one of the few conservatives to vocally condemn President Donald Trump’s quixotic crusade to expose widespread vote fraud in the 2020 election.
Thus, he seemed a logical fit for a leftist media organization that fancies itself a traditional journalism outlet, currently racked by guilt over the shockingly oppressive social-media censorship and ideological warfare omnipresent in the anti-Trump press.
On Thursday, Politico brought on Shapiro to guest-author its “Playbook” newsletter, a popular insider column hearkening back to the sites early days as a sort of trade publication for Capitol Hill.
But that didn’t bode well with staffers unversed in classical “free speech” principles, who complained in an afternoon Zoom meeting that Shapiro had “a long history of bigoted and incendiary commentary.”
In response, Editor-In-Chief Matt Kaminski pushed back, insisting that Politico was “above the ideological warfare” and that “a lot of care went into trying to identify potential contributors,” according to a report by the leftist HuffPost, which cited the remarks of an anonymous staffer.
Kaminski refused to heed mob-driven calls to apologize.
“A couple things that may sound familiar to you, and I’ll say them again,” he reportedly told the staff. “This publication has reporters and editors and we do our best every day to make calls. We stand by this piece. I don’t see any reason to apologize for having published Ben Shapiro.”
But some ideologues in the newsroom remained discontented by the response.
“This is one of the most disappointing days, if not the most disappointing day, that I’ve been a part of this company,” one reportedly said.
Shapiro answered by waging a charm offensive—of sorts—by offering gifts to Politico‘s entire staff from the Daily Wire’s merchandising collection.
According to TownHall’s Julio Rosas, after the reports of the newsroom insurrection broke, Shapiro sent 225 tumblers with the words “Liberal Tears” emblazoned on them.
The boxes were addressed “To: Very Serious Journalists™ c/o: Politico”.
“I know that a single conservative opinion was enough to make 225 journalists at Politico very sad,” Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing told Townhall. “We just want to make sure they don’t get their desks wet.”