Twitter users swiftly expressed their confusion over Politico’s decision to let conservative commentator Ben Shapiro take the reins of its popular “Playbook” newsletter on Thursday morning — a day after the House voted to impeach President Trump for the second time.
On Thursday morning, Shapiro took aim at the media in “Playbook” by accusing members of the press of supposedly being “bewildered” over the fact that House Republicans didn’t unanimously vote to impeach Trump for “inciting insurrection.”
“Many in the media seem bewildered that House Republicans didn’t unanimously join Democrats in supporting impeachment (looking at you, Playbook readers in the media) — after all, Republicans were in the building when rioters broke through, seeking to do them grievous physical harm,” Shapiro wrote.
Predictably, Shapiro got up on his soap box to boast that his “Republican sources” told him that “opposition to impeachment doesn’t spring from generalized sanguinity over Trump’s behavior.”
“I’ve been receiving calls and texts for more than a week from elected Republicans heartsick over what they saw in the Capitol,” Shapiro wrote.
Shapiro’s guest authoring of “Playbook” was published a day after he brushed off the deadly insurrection of the Capitol riots last week by nonsensically claiming that it’s common practice for everyone to own zip ties. At least two Capitol rioters were seen with zip ties seemingly intended to be used as restraints.
Literally every regular human I know owns zip ties. This is like Pauline Kael on steroids. https://t.co/qEHC1uedgB
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 13, 2021
Shapiro, who has become a controversial conservative media figure with his incendiary remarks, appeared unfazed by the backlash.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 14, 2021
TPM reached out to Politico for comment.
In a statement released to the Washington Post in response to the backlash on Thursday, Politico said that it has “taken great care to assemble a roster of guest authors who are prominent thinkers and writers and represent a range of perspectives.”
“What sets Politico apart in this intense political and media moment is that we rise above partisanship and ideological warfare — even as many seek to us into it,” Politico said. “It’s a core value of the publication that is unchangeable, and that above all protects our ability to do independent journalism. It’s part of our mission.”
Here’s how Twitter users panned Politico for letting Shapiro guest author its most popular newsletter:
The fact Politico gave prime real estate to Ben Shapiro the day after he claimed *everyone* has zip tie restraints at home in an attempt to minimize the Capitol riots and it all being sponsored by the oil and gas lobby tells you more about DC than any newsletter scoop could.
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) January 14, 2021
Politico sidelining their many talented, well-sourced Capitol Hill reporters to have Ben Shapiro co-author Playbook on the day after a historic impeachment vote was an unfortunate choice to say the least.
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) January 14, 2021
Tucker must've been busy https://t.co/AXHNh6KQ19
— Katherine Krueger (@kath_krueger) January 14, 2021
Shorter Ben Shapiro: We're a victim-based community of crybabies who require a shroud of lies and fantasies to shield us from reality.
— Joe Hagan (@joehagansays) January 14, 2021
ben shapiro is DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS and he’s using politico to launder his reputation as if he isn’t one of the most toxic figures in the conservative media landscape pic.twitter.com/9DFgsHBFU5
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) January 14, 2021
I understand the desire to have balance, but lying about stuff like Ben Shapiro does in this column (comparing Bernie Sanders to Trump, equivocating Trump's voter fraud lies with Stacey Abrams) isn't really a "side" that needs to be platformed https://t.co/xfiH4TkIKX
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 14, 2021
Politico handed over its Playbook today to Ben Shapiro, who used it to (falsely) accuse Bernie Sanders of inciting the shooting of Steve Scalise and to equate Bernie’s rhetoric with Trump’s. I kid you not.
(h/t @MattNegrin) https://t.co/2TtJKUdAk3
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) January 14, 2021
shapiro's essay is an unintentional, albeit chilling, self own.
the Nazis thought the Jews were going to exterminate them—because they were going to exterminate the Jews.
— Noah Berlatsky (@nberlat) January 14, 2021