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Politico Staff in Uproar over Ben Shapiro Appearance

Ben Shapiro at CPAC 2018 (Gage Skidmore)

Politico, which publishes a popular morning newsletter, yesterday had left-wing commentator Chris Hayes on as a “guest editor,” which appears to mean guest columnist. I doubt celebrities who are asked to contribute are made to do any actual editing. Today, Politico featured Ben Shapiro in the same slot, and the staff had a meltdown. Hayes is unquestionably a controversialist on the left, and seems like a rough equivalent of Shapiro on the right, but the staff of this supposedly nonpartisan or bipartisan media outfit obviously leans well to the left. Media reporters were on Twitter breathlessly reporting about the staff objections to Shapiro’s appearance, which culminated in an all-hands Zoom meeting that apparently drew a breathtaking 225 participants. According to New York Times columnist Ben Smith, Politico editor in chief Matt Kaminsky told staff that the outlet would not be issuing an apology for inviting Shapiro into their club. Many staffers complained on the Zoom call, according to Smith and others.

To its credit, Politico issued the kind of statement that is rare whenever the woke Left makes a fuss: It told the wokesters to stuff it. “We have taken great care to assemble a roster of guest authors who are prominent thinkers and writers and represent a range of perspectives,” read the statement. “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. It’s a core value of the publication that is unchangeable.” Politico has, perhaps, grokked something that those of us who have been through a few high-dudgeon cycles know very well: Outrage doesn’t last. It can be ignored. Really. A few tweets — even a few hundred tweets — mean nothing. If you have any integrity, simply stick to your guns instead of cringing and begging forgiveness. In 48 hours, the mob will move on. It always does.

Shapiro had, as usual, a deft response to the hubbub:

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