The Mirror

BuzzFeed Diversity Program Rejects White Journalist

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger

It’s a sad, sad day for white Washington freelancer Evan Gahr.

Gahr applied for the BuzzFeed News/Columbia University diversity fellowship, which was originally geared only toward people of color. But Editor-in-chief Ben Smith and the gang quickly learned this could present them with real legal problems. So they let white guys like Gahr apply and now call it the “BuzzFeed News/Columbia University Fellowship For Journalists Of Color And Other Diverse Backgrounds.” Each fellow will receive a stipend of $85,000, plus benefits and related expenses for one year.

The news that BuzzFeed was turning him down wasn’t easy for Gahr to digest Wednesday. After all, the response was: REJECTION. They did, however, assure him in a form letter that many “worthy applicants” weren’t making it to the next round.

Evan Gahr BuzzFeed Application

Asked how he feels about being rejected from the BuzzFeed diversity fellowship, Gahr told The Mirror, “It is a reminder that the only real institutional racism in this country is directed against white males by diversity fetishists like Ben Smith. I am proof that white skin privileges are a myth.”

Gahr says he had everything going for him except color. On his application he listed that he was white and Jewish. But he was willing to have color — literally. He asked Smith early on if visiting tanning salons would help his chances and sufficiently make him a journalist of color.

“I had all the right qualifications for the program — a track record of nationally-recognized investigative reporting about race discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits and a proposal for a blockbuster story about police departments covering up the arrests of their own officers — except melanin. And it’s ironic that Smith who has implemented an illegal quota program for the sake of black people he considers hapless and unable to compete on their own merits refuses to report that The Washington Post is being sued for race discrimination.”

He cracked to The Mirror, “Maybe I should have written — per Jesse Jackson — that I am a ‘Hymie-American.’ Does that sound more diverse?”

Gahr also cites his father’s medical practice as a place where he interacted often with black patients. He said he had extensive conversations with them. “I have probably had more interactions with different sections of the black community than Wesley Lowery,” he said, referring to the cranky WaPo reporter who writes and tweets expansively and angrily about racial issues.

In an email Wednesday afternoon, Gahr had questions for Smith.

Evan Gahr Email To Ben Smith

The Mirror sought comment from Smith on why Gahr was rejected. I also asked how they know if a “person of color” or a “diverse background” applies and if someone who is Caucasian could conceivably be accepted to the program. There was no response by Mirror press time.