The Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro mocked over 100 Politico staffers on Tuesday for signing a letter to Politico’s publisher complaining that Shapiro was given the chance to guest write the outlet’s flagship newsletter.
Over 100 Politico journalists and other staff, upset at Shapiro’s byline appearing atop the Jan. 14 edition of Politico Playbook, wrote a letter to the outlet’s publisher, Robert Allbritton, demanding changes to newsroom diversity and the editorial process over the editors’ handling of Shapiro’s column, according to The Daily Beast.
The letter came after Politico Editor-in-Chief Matthew Kaminski had addressed internal anger over Shapiro’s appearance in Playbook in a Jan. 14 conference call with over 200 staff members. On the call, Kaminski defended the decision to publish Shapiro saying the editorial team was attempting to “experiment and mix things up” and that a diversity of viewpoints is important to keeping Politico “vital and vibrant.” Along with Shapiro, a number of left-wing commentators, pundits, and journalists have also guest-written Playbook in recent days, including MSNBC host Christ Hayes, PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, and CNN host Don Lemon.
The letter’s signees were evidently unpersuaded by Kaminski’s arguments, and they went over his head to write a letter to Allbritton complaining of the entire affair and demanding an apology as well as changes to newsroom structure and operations. The letter also demanded an editor’s note be tacked onto Shapiro’s edition of Playbook.
Shapiro explained the affair on Tuesday’s edition of “The Ben Shapiro Show.”
“I wrote the Playbook because they wanted somebody on the right. So I wrote the Playbook and the basic point I made in Politico’s Playbook was the entire goal of the left seems to be to lump in everybody on the right with the Capitol rioters so they can then say everyone on the right is dangerous and then ban them. That was my entire point. That was the entire piece,” Shapiro said. “People at Politico went nuts. They had a staff phone call with 225 members of the staff, most of them from the newsroom because these are newsmakers.”
“They got very angry and they shouted at the editors, but that didn’t work because the editors were like, ‘You know, we are going to have a lot of different people from a lot of different sides of the political aisle, and you citing bad, old tweets from 2012 that Shapiro has already explained multiple times, that’s not going to do it,’” Shapiro explained. “So what did they do? One hundred staffers decided to go over the heads of the editors and directly to the publisher of Politico and whine about this. Amazing, amazing people.”
Shapiro went on to discuss The Daily Beast story on the letter to Allbritton. According to the outlet, the Politico staffers “express[ed] disgust” and were “irate” about Shapiro’s edition of Playbook. Shapiro also said that the backlash to his appearance in Playbook was not truly about silencing him, but about stifling conservative viewpoints in general.
“One day! I wrote a piece for Politico – a piece – and 100 people at Politico were like, ‘How dare you.’ Now listen, they can’t cancel me over at Politico. I don’t work for Politico. I don’t care. I didn’t write for Politico because I needed Politico’s money. And so they can’t cancel me, that’s not what this is about,” Shapiro said. “What this is about is pressuring editors into never having anybody who is remotely right-wing write for their publications. That is what this is truly about.”
Shapiro later noted an example on Twitter of the “irate” Politico staffers already having an impact on editorial judgement at the news outlet. He said that two conservative pundits, Guy Benson and Mary Katharine Ham, who were asked to jointly write an edition of Politico’s Playbook were canceled by the outlet after editors claimed they had “overbooked” guest writers.
So, today I pointed out that Politico’s blow-up over me writing Playbook wasn’t about me being cancelled — it was about woke staffers cudgeling editors into never reaching across the aisle again. Now I have a pretty great example of this problem in action.
My friends [Benson] and [Ham] were also asked to jointly guest-write Playbook. I know this because they told me so the day of the firestorm. The editors had sought them out and said they were enthused about having them (the same thing that happened with me).
The editors were supposed to set a hard date for their slot. Then, oddly enough, just after my issue of Playbook, Politico went dead silent on them. Communications stopped for days.
Eventually they gave Guy and MKH an excuse – they’d overbooked. The same excuse you give your in-laws to avoid dinner. I know this because I noticed their bylines never appeared, and I asked Guy and MKH what happened. So they told me.
Now, Guy and MKH don’t need Playbook. They didn’t ask for the gig. That’s not the point. The point is that when the woke light the world on fire over liberals reaching across the aisle, the message is clear: don’t try it again. So they don’t.
Message received. Conservatives are pre-emptively cancelled. Homogeneity maintained. Polarization increased. Well done, wokescolds! The world is still safe from the predations of dangerous thinkers like Guy and MKH – and anyone on the right.
The letter to Allbritton noted that Politico staffers were demoralized by Shapiro’s appearance in Playbook, according to The Daily Beast. Shapiro mocked the letter’s signees and their inability to handle one column from a conservative.
“Awe, it demoralized you? That’s sad, what happened? What happened, you couldn’t report on how wonderful Joe Biden’s dog is today because you were so depressed that I wrote a piece for you two weeks ago?” Shapiro said. “You fragile little babies. Seriously. My goodness. ‘I’m so demoralized. Oh my god, every time I start to write, every time I start to do my job, I think of the fact that Shapiro’s name appeared in Politico and I can’t. I need the wah-mbulance.’”