A former Axios reporter accused the DeSantis administration of “bullying” him Thursday after it was revealed he was no longer with the publication after calling a Department of Education press release “propaganda.”
Journalist Ben Montgomery received a press release reviewing a recent roundtable from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scam in Higher Education.” Montgomery responded to the release saying, “[t]his is propaganda, not a press release.” Jeremy Redfern, deputy press secretary for DeSantis, then posted a screenshot of the response, tagging both Axios and Montgomery. It was revealed just days later that he was no longer with the publication. (RELATED: ‘The Country Be Damned’: Adam Schiff Accuses Tucker Carlson Of Lying)
“It seems like it happens every time somebody challenges whatever information might be put out by the governor or in this case the department of education, which has sort of become a politicized branch of the DeSantis administration,” Montgomery told Joy Reid on The ReidOut.
“There is a bullying aspect and a lot of trolling. They do a lot of Twitter trolling. They tried to bully my dear friend and colleague Andrea Mitchell for asking a question not even to DeSantis, to the vice president, Kamala Harris,” Reid responded.
Mitchell had to issue a correction after asking an “imprecise” question to Vice President Kamala Harris concerning the Florida Department of Education’s decision to require a review of an A.P. African American studies course.
“A postscript, in my interview last Friday with Vice President Harris, I was imprecise in summarizing Governor DeSantis’s position about teaching slavery in schools. Governor DeSantis is not opposed to teaching the fact of slavery in schools,” Mitchell said.
Montgomery also said that Axios’ decision would have a “chilling effect” on the news media.
“It does show that bullying works. That sends a message to every other journalist,” Reid added.