Axios reporter Ben Montgomery has been fired by the media outlet after calling a press release from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ team propaganda.
The hour-long Department of Education event titled “Exposing the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Scam in Higher Education” was hosted by the Republican governor and took aim at “woke” colleges and universities. The roundtable was on “divisive concepts such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, Critical Race Theory (CRT), and the impact that these concepts have had on Florida higher education institutions and the students that attend them.”
“This is propaganda, not a press release,” Montgomery responded, according to a screenshot that Alex Lanfranconi, the communications director for the Florida Department of Education, sent out.
He tagged Axios and Montgomery in the post. Not only did the reporter get blasted by the right, but his snarky response also resulted in his termination.
This afternoon, Tampa based @axios journalist @gangrey decided to respond to our press release with the below. pic.twitter.com/XkL5nBwZSs
— Alex Lanfranconi (@AlexLanfran) March 13, 2023
DEI is DOA in Fla.https://t.co/n32NxOf0UR
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) March 16, 2023
The press release promoted Florida’s new effort to “prohibit state colleges and universities from funding DEI programs or activities and prohibit general education courses that distort historical events or that use instruction from CRT and establish new standards and adoption procedures for these courses.”
“This reporter is no longer with Axios. Out of respect for our employees, we do not discuss conditions of departure,” Axios Editor-in-Chief Sara Kehaulani Goo told Fox News Digital in a statement.
Vanity Fair reporter Charlotte Klein was the first to tweet that Axios gave Montgomery the boot on Monday over the incident. Montgomery publicly confirmed the termination but did not appear to care about it in the least.
“Some personal news: I made crepes this morning for the first time in years. Strawberry compote and whipped cream. They were delicious,” Montgomery wrote in response to Klein’s tweet that he was fired.
Some personal news: I made crepes this morning for the first time in years. Strawberry compote and whipped cream. They were delicious. https://t.co/1rG4idEZsr
— Ben Montgomery (@gangrey) March 15, 2023
Montgomery told Fox News Digital in an interview that he didn’t slam the press release because of partisan politics, but because it lacked necessary context in his opinion.
“It just wasted my time,” Montgomery stated, adding that he has no regrets over the email because his teenage daughters told him they were proud of him.
“That’s really all that matters,” he declared.
Montgomery did admit that he could have handled the press release better after his sudden termination.
“I regret being so short,” he remarked. “In the style of Axios, I used smart brevity and it cost me.”
The former Axios reporter told The Washington Post that he received a call from Jamie Stockwell, the executive editor of Axios Local, on Monday night asking if he sent the email. After admitting that he sent it, his boss told him his “reputation in the Tampa Bay area” had been “irreparably tarnished.”
Montgomery’s response purportedly violated Axios’ Editorial Ethics Policy that states all staffers must “maintain professionalism with all sources” and “respect and be civil to all people we have contact with.”
The press release for the event described several guests speaking at the roundtable such as Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. and school choice advocate Christopher Rufo, who discussed the impact of DEI initiatives on education and the damage they do to students.
“These concepts are in no way inclusive, and instead force exclusion and division within higher education, and do not in any way contribute to learning or knowledge; as such, no funding from hardworking, tax-paying Floridians, including the parents of higher-education students, should be spent on these divisive initiatives,” the press release asserted.
(Video Credit: Forbes Breaking News)
Montgomery was excoriated for his lack of journalistic ethics and professionalism by the DeSantis team and other journalists.
DeSantis Deputy Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern blasted Montgomery’s response, tweeting, “is this journalism?”
Is this a journalism?
— Jeremy Redfern (@JeremyRedfernFL) March 13, 2023
Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw branded Montgomery an “activist.”
“Perhaps he should have considered being a journalist, not an activist or propagandist,” she tweeted.
Perhaps he should have considered being a journalist, not an activist or propagandist.
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) March 15, 2023
Journalist Glenn Greenwald got to the heart of the matter as well, “A huge number of employees of media corporations bearing the HR title ‘journalist’ are now very open and candid about the fact that they are Dems, promote Dems, and want Dems to win. On any given day, look at the time-line of NBC News ‘reporter’ @oneunderscore__. It’s the DNC’s.”
A huge number of employees of media corporations bearing the HR title "journalist" are now very open and candid about the fact that they are Dems, promote Dems, and want Dems to win.
On any given day, look at the time-line of NBC News "reporter" @oneunderscore__. It's the DNC's. https://t.co/LZ4FYfDuUg
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 15, 2023
DONATE TO AMERICAN WIRE
If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to American Wire News to help us fight them.
- Trump indictment could be a gift to the Biden family meant to distract from expanding probe - March 20, 2023
- Trump cheers news top witness expected to conclusively discredit Michael Cohen to grand jury - March 20, 2023
- ‘I don’t trust it’: Free food deliveries in LA neighborhood met with skepticism by recipients - March 18, 2023
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.