Veteran USA Today editor says he was demoted for not being ‘woke’ enough

By Harold Hutchison, DCNF

A former opinion editor at USA Today claimed in a Thursday evening New York Post op-ed he was demoted for a tweet that did not conform with the views of “woke” co-workers.

“I was USA Today’s deputy editorial page editor until August, when I was demoted after I tweeted, ‘People who are pregnant are also women,’” David Mastio wrote. He said in the op-ed that those running USA Today and its parent company, Gannett Media, hired staffers with “a narrow ‘woke’ ideology” at odds with many readers across the country.

“That idea was forbidden because a ‘news reporter’ covering diversity, equity and inclusion wrote a story detailing how transgender men can get pregnant,” Mastio said. “I compounded my sin against this new orthodoxy by calling the idea that men can get pregnant an ‘opinion.’”

Mastio claimed that his superiors at USA Today told him to delete the offending tweets or face the prospect of being fired.

“[T]he LGBTQ Employee Resource Group and the newsroom ‘diversity’ committee thought I should be fired,” Mastio wrote, adding that the “diversity” committee had the power to alter op-eds they felt were “problematic.” One column that went through such alterations involved a sexual assault in a Loudoun County, Virginia, public school, he told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“It wasn’t a fair system,” he told The DCNF when asked about a tweet by Federalist writer Margot Cleveland over an article he declined to publish.


“You will never be woke enough for the center-left,” she said in the tweet.

Mastio claimed another USA Today editor was assigned to go through past articles he wrote “to find more sins” to be the grounds “to fire me if I strayed from the DEI path again.” He said it took “multiple meetings” for USA Today’s senior personnel to get the “diversity” committee and the LGBTQ Employee Resource Group to settle for his demotion.

He now serves as executive editor of Straight Arrow News.

USA Today and Cleveland did not immediately respond to requests for comment from TheDCNF.

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