David Mastio Profile picture
Jun 24 25 tweets 10 min read
After 25 years associated with @Gannett and @USATODAY, I’ve got some things to say about how the company is going off the rails, wokism is taking over and conservatives are being purged. You can read more about it in my New York Post op-ed. nypost.com/2022/06/23/usa…
I’m partially to blame because I didn’t speak up publicly until the axe fell on me. I was demoted for tweeting that women are the people who get pregnant. A braying mob of my colleagues demanded I be fired for making the workplace “unsafe.”
But before we get to me, here’s what happened across the country before @Gannett announced this month that it was shuttering or scaling back all of its daily opinion pages across dozens of states, except flagship USA TODAY.

washingtonpost.com/media/2022/06/…
USA TODAY’s editorial page editor @kristendel said it was because opinion pages across the company had failed to “evolve.” Gannett’s local opinion pages have evolved plenty, but in recent years readers have concluded they just don’t like what they’ve evolved into.
Over the last decade @Gannett has purged the conservative voices at its local papers. There used to be dozens of feisty conservative opinion pages, often with a staff of 1 or 2. Now there are none.
How do I know? Every day for years, a memo has gone out sharing local opinion that would be of interest nationwide. Conservatives don’t appear there much anymore beyond a few freelancers.
At regional papers like the @indystar, @Enquirer and @TheOklahoman_, storied and influential conservative editorial pages have been replaced with a bland corporate liberalism. Only one is left -- @azcentral.
For instance, in NJ, three of @Gannett’s papers endorsed the Republican for governor only a few years ago. But in 2021, none did. The intellectually diverse local editorial boards were replaced with a state-wide liberal board that endorsed the Democrat.

newjerseyglobe.com/governor/six-g…
What about editorial cartoonists? All the conservatives are gone now. @varvel was the last. What about local staff columnists? @azcentral’s @RJRobb is the last holdout across 200 plus daily newspapers. @USATODAY has one.
Local editorial page editors who do dare to publish something controversial and conservative can’t be sure it will run. Junior staffers at regional design centers can overrule them, spiking copy in the print edition.
You want to know why @Gannett’s opinion pages died? They were murdered when corporate wokism replaced intellectually diverse voices in touch with communities, substituting a standardized liberalism out of place in many towns served by the newspaper giant.
So what about @USATODAY? There the story is the same. Newsroom leaders like DelGuzzi and @nicole_carroll are cowed by the young activists of a newsroom “diversity” committee who want to silence any voices who raise doubts about their extreme Diversity, Equity and Inclusion agenda
At @USATODAY, They gives copies of columns to the newsroom “diversity” committee to review and edit. So much for the wall between news & opinion. Even if a column isn’t spiked, if it is controversial she will pad the impact by running a phalanx of lib columns on the same subject
When the “diversity” committee doesn’t get advanced notice, its members and supporters root around in unpublished copy looking for things to censor. @chenwilliams who did this to one of my columns was promoted from Atlanta to corporate HQ for her trouble.
When it comes to the DEI agenda at USA TODAY, no opinion is too extreme for the news pages and no dissenting voices are allowed. A perfect example is @alia_e’s take on the poor misunderstood pedophiles. 1000 words and no disagreement with the premise

usatoday.com/story/life/hea…
So what brought my career at @USATODAY to a flaming end? That’s a funny story.
Young woke activists on staff had been fighting for months to scrub the “discriminatory” and “hateful” phrase “pregnant women” from USAT. Last August, they finally succeeded in replacing it with “pregnant people” in a breaking news alert after the CDC used the same language.
I subtweeted them saying “the people who get pregnant are also called women” @susmiller, a USA TODAY news editor rebuked me by sending a link to USA TODAY’s “news” story that detailed the lives of trans men who had babies.
I compounded my sin against diversity by replying that I did not share the “opinion” of those in the newsroom that men can become pregnant.

For this, I was demoted from Deputy Editorial Page Editor and initially threatened with a $30,000 a year pay cut.
While I was deciding what to do with my suddenly bleak future @kristendel was assigned to root through my journalism history to find more sins so she could write a “three strikes” memo threatening to fire me if I strayed from the DEI path again.
How desperate did she get? Well, 1 of the 3 sins was my writing in an editorial that Donald Trump was “not fit to clean the toilets of the Barack Obama presidential library.” My sin? Casting toilet cleaners in a negative light.

usatoday.com/story/opinion/…
USA TODAY leaders had to hold multiple meetings with the “diversity” committee and the LGBTQ Employee Resource Committee to get them to accept my demotion instead of the firing they demanded.
Feelings ran so high that “diversity” committee members began swearing at Nicole Carroll for which they later apologized. Swearing at the boss is ok, but not dissenting from DEI.
Today, I’ve moved on, but for @Gannett it's a dark day. The future depends on getting 10 million subscribers our corporate North Star, but with woke staffers gaining a tighter grip on newsrooms, Gannett is going to have tough time connecting with readers

straightarrownews.com
A journalism institution that doesn’t share the same values and priorities as its red and purple state readers isn’t long for this world. If you own the stock, you might ask CEO Mike Reed what he plans to do about it or if he is even engaged enough to know what is going on.

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