Reports on Twitter surfaced Monday that Politico escorted a junior breaking news reporter out of the building on her second to last day at the publication. Sources confirmed to the The Mirror that this is what employees inside the publication witnessed.
But things may not be quite what they seem.
Kendall Breitman, the reporter in question, is going to work for Bloomberg Politics. At Bloomberg, there’s a policy stating that if you take another job you must leave your workplace immediately. But that is if you leave Bloomberg, not if you leave another publication to come to Bloomberg.
“It’s not like a perp walk,” a source explained to The Mirror regarding Bloomberg‘s practices. Employees don’t get two weeks to leave, they get the day. Regardless of where you’re going, you have to leave that day. The rule may involve competition — because that’s how things happen in finance.
The source explained that whatever happened in Politico‘s newsroom with Breitman was Politico‘s call, not Bloomberg‘s.
Sources tell The Mirror that the incident was a misunderstanding with Breitman’s supervisor and was not ordered by Politico editor-in-chief Susan Glasser. Politico management is said to wish her nothing but the best in her new job.
Bloomberg is known for its stringent work practices. Every Bloomberg employee who works in the New York office carries an ID. When you enter or exit the building, management knows the time. When Mike Bloomberg left to become mayor in 2001, employees breathed easy and the company stopped recording times. Almost immediately upon returning last year, Bloomberg reinstituted the time stamp.
“He’s a Stalinist dwarf,” said a source in the know.
Politico alums had different takes on the matter of the Politico reporter being escorted from the building. WSJ‘s Byron Tau, expressed outraged about the whole thing, while Jennifer Epstein was disappointed but wondered if it’s true, since it didn’t happen to her when she left Politico for Bloomberg Politics.
A more prickly departure from Politico to Bloomberg was Jonathan Allen, who left to become Washington Bureau Chief. When he left the publication, there were murmurings that higher-ups were not pleased as he was just releasing his book HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton. And when Allen left Bloomberg for Vox, it also wasn’t necessarily on a positive note — at the time, Politico reported that Allen felt “marginalized” by Bloomberg Politics.
When a Meredith Mackenzie, managing director of D.C.’s West End Strategy Team, suggested that Breitman’s early departure might have had something to do with her gender, Epstein bristled at the possibility.
“Terrible way to treat a young reporter who had lots of friends, regardless of why they did it,” a source told The Mirror on background. “I’ve never seen anything like it at Politico. Ellie Titus and Jon Allen also went to Bloomberg, they didn’t throw them out.”
Historically, Politico is not known for throwing employees out prematurely when they resign to go to a competitor.
In recent memory, the only person anyone can remember that happening to is Tim Grieve, who was a top editor going to National Journal, a longtime Politico competitor, to run a competing product. They made him leave the day he resigned. Grieve is now National Journal‘s editor-in-chief. Employees thought it was somewhat understandable given how senior he was. He also had an extremely contentious relationship with Politico management.
“But even him being asked to leave was pretty upbeat occasion,” a source recalled. “There were smiles all around and hugs and handshakes on his way out.”