Daily Beast: Anonymous Politico Reporters Lament Young In-House ‘Woke Police’

Posted on Wed 12/01/2021 by

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By Tim Graham ~

In a bit of a surprise, the fiercely liberal Daily Beast published an article on the internal goings-on at Politico, especially the part about a “woke police” on staff – like we’ve seen at The New York Times and other Old Media outlets.

Zachary Petrizzo and Lachlan Cartwright rounded up the anonymous accusers at this allegedly “iconic” publication:

Seven current Politico reporters who spoke with The Daily Beast claimed the newsroom now centers around younger, more politically “woke” staffers who wield large amounts of influence, especially when it comes to ensuring a more diverse set of voices are featured in the outlet’s reporting.

The new dynamic has ostensibly vexed some of Politico’s older guard, with several staffers perceiving a vigilant “woke police” force within the newsroom. There are “woke police around every corner,” lamented one veteran reporter.

It can even lead to Politico staffers leaving the fold:

In particular, people with direct knowledge of the matter pointed to a previously unreported March incident that unfolded over an article penned by reporter Gabby Orr on the topic of transgender athletes in women’s sports.

According to three people familiar with the matter, two colleagues raised concern about what Orr had written, leading to a Zoom call between the reporter, who has since joined CNN, and Politico’s director of editorial diversity initiatives, Robin Turner, among others. The in-house diversity champion ultimately agreed that the article was not inclusive enough of transgender voices, the people familiar with the matter said. Orr declined to comment on the incident.

A look at the actual article suggests that the “in-house diversity champion” was upset that an article on Republicans largely quoted Republicans. But GOP strategist Rob Stutzman was criticizing the focus on trans athletes, and the leftist Kate Oakley of the Human Rights Campaign also gets some quotes. Orr argued “Republicans’ claim as defenders of women’s sports is a tenuous one, at best.” Apparently, Orr failed to quote an actual transgender or non-binary pundit?

The Daily Beast piece also suggests there are “social justice” feuds on the Politico Playbook team because Tara Palmieri pushing a scoops-and-gossips approach and Eugene Daniels crusading for social justice:

Palmeri and Daniels are often at loggerheads when it comes to the editorial content of the influential newsletter that once commanded Beltway news cycles. Multiple Politico insiders told The Daily Beast that the pair rarely agree on what should be included in the newsletter. Specifically, sources said, the Playbook team has clashed over Daniels’ expressed desire for social justice issues to be at the forefront of coverage…

Daniels, for his part, has considered quitting, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Beast. In particular, they said, his sights have been trained on a gig with MSNBC, where he frequently appears as an on-air political analyst. While network insiders acknowledged they’ve had conversations with Daniels over the possibility of him joining full-time, he recently signed a two-year contract with Politico, according to three sources.

Daniels insists everything is hunky-dory at Politico, at least on the record. Politico editor-in-chief Matt Kaminski wrote in a statement to The Daily Beast. “No one on the team—not least Tara Palmeri or Eugene Daniels—is driven by ideology in their coverage.” Sure……..

Tim Graham is the Executive Editor at NewsBusters, and he is the Director of  Media Analysis at the Media Research Center. His career at the MRC began in February 1989 as associate editor of MediaWatch, the monthly newsletter of the MRC before the Internet era.

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