Axios Reporter Fired for Unprofessionalism, Calls Florida Dept. of Education Press Release ‘Propaganda’


Tampa Based Axios Reporter Ben Montgomery was fired this week after replying to a Florida Department of Education email with accusations of putting out propaganda, presumably violating Axios’ policy that mandates its reporters maintain professionalism with their contact.

In response to a press release on a roundtable discussion exposing “the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Scam in Higher Education,” Montgomery replied, “This is propaganda, not a press release.”


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The release was in an “in case you missed it” style, including quotes from the live release from various government officials, including Governor Ron DeSantis.


“In Florida, we are not going to back down to the woke mob, and we will expose the scams they are trying to push onto students across the country. Florida students will receive an education, not a political indoctrination.”

Montgomery was likely fired for his comment because it was returned to the Department of Education. According to Fox News, “It is believed that Montgomery’s “propaganda” email response violated Axios’ Editorial Ethics Policy that states all staffers must “maintain professionalism with all sources” and “respect and be civil to all people we have contact with.”

But that hasn’t stopped some observers on Twitter from accusing Axios, a center to left-wing site, of “playing politics” and accusing DeSantis of being involved with the firing.

According to the Washington Post, Montgomery claimed the news release had “no substance” and that it “was just a series of quotes about how bad DEI was.”

One of the quotes was from Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr., who commented on the broader effect of how DEI impacted school culture and values.

“DEI divides students and at its very core is the antithesis to its so-called mission. These initiatives have completely transformed over the years, from what were once simple efforts to ensure equal access to all students, to now focusing on ideology over merit. Thank you to Governor DeSantis for hosting this important roundtable event as we work to eliminate DEI from colleges and universities in Florida.”

Christopher Rufo, investigative journalist and member of the New College of Florida Board of Trustees, detailed how DEI wastes public resources and distracts from the proper pursuit of knowledge.


“I would say the first thing to understand about DEI is that what it’s become in practice is a vehicle for left wing political activists to hijack public resources and turn universities away from the pursuit of knowledge toward the pursuit of their own private political interests. I think that what we need to do is take a look at the specifics and get beyond the Orwellian word games that sound good in theory and really understand what do these offices do, and is it a good use of public resources? I think what we will all find is that it is not, and we’re here to figure out what to do about it.”

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Mongomery responded to his firing with snark, presumably to show that he was unbothered.

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