Politico is facing both internal and external outrage after publishing an article by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro on Thursday.
"We published a piece by a very prominent writer, provocateur, and podcaster. We stand by every word in there, it was very closely edited," said Politico editor Matt Kaminski in a response to employees according to Yahoo News.
Politico also released a statement defending their decision.
Shapiro published his article for the Politico Playbook, a political newsletter which currently lacks an editor. In place of an editor, the media outlet has been inviting high-profile commentators to write pieces for them.
Shapiro's article, titled "The real reason most Republicans opposed impeachment," outlines his belief as to why most Republicans did not join Democrats in impeaching President Donald Trump following the Capitol Hill riot.
"Opposition to impeachment comes from a deep and abiding conservative belief that members of the opposing political tribe want their destruction, not simply to punish Trump for his behavior," Shapiro wrote. "Republicans believe that Democrats and the overwhelmingly liberal media see impeachment as an attempt to cudgel them collectively by lumping them in with the Capitol rioters thanks to their support for Trump."
As expected, the article immediately prompted outrage among left-wing social media users.
The publication also faced internal pushback, however, with some staff at Politico expressing outrage that Shapiro was given a platform at all.
One staff member complained about Shapiro's alleged "long history of bigoted and incendiary commentary," continuing "it has clearly generated a wave of negative attention, and I fear it’s already overshadowing a lot of great work being done by journalists across this newsroom."
"This is especially confusing given the newsroom’s welcome efforts over the last year to cover issues related to race in a more intentional, elevated, thoughtful way," another staffer wrote.
Some staffers, however, reportedly did support the decision to publish Shapiro but did not speak out due to the heated nature of the newsroom as they discussed the issue.
Kaminski further defended the piece by Shapiro, stating "mischief making has always been a part of Politico’s secret sauce. We were an upstart. Some of that sensibility is always going to be a part of this publication"
Shapiro took to Twitter to respond to the criticism, arguing that left-wingers are more interested in ostracizing and censoring right-wingers than in having dialogue.
Politico has since called an emergency newsroom meeting to discuss the fallout over Shapiro's article.