Axios reporter is FIRED over inappropriate response to DeSantis press release

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.

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.

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?”

Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw branded Montgomery an “activist.”

“Perhaps he should have considered being a journalist, not an activist or propagandist,” she tweeted.

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.”

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