Former Axios journalist Ben Montgomery crossed the line and was given the boot by his employer for falsely accusing Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of spreading “propaganda.”
Axios parted ways with Montgomery after he referred to a roundtable event hosted by DeSantis as “propaganda.”
“This reporter is no longer with Axios,” Axios editor-in-chief Sara Kehaulani Goo said in a statement.
“Out of respect for our employees, we do not discuss conditions of departure.”
Montgomery’s partisan comment was exposed this week after Florida Department of Education communications director Alex Lanfranconi revealed how the Tampa Bay reporter responded to an emailed press release.
The press release was regarding a roundtable discussion on “divisive concepts such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, Critical Race Theory (CRT), and the impact that these concepts have had on Florida higher education institutions and the students that attend them.”
In a reply, Montgomery wrote back “this is propaganda, not a press release.”
Lanfranconi posted a screenshot of Montgomery’s comment on Twitter.
— Alex Lanfranconi (@AlexLanfran) March 13, 2023
Montgomery’s actions resulted in the liberal reporter facing swift backlash on social media.
But it seems backlash on Twitter isn’t the only thing Montgomery had to deal with as a result of his actions.
Vanity Fair reporter Charlotte Klein first tweeted that Axios fired Montgomery on Monday over the incident.
Montgomery publicly confirmed and appeared to make light of the situation.
Some personal news: I made crepes this morning for the first time in years. Strawberry compote and whipped cream. They were delicious. https://t.co/1rG4idEZsr
— Ben Montgomery (@gangrey) March 15, 2023
Montgomery tried to explain his antics to Joy Reid on MSNBC but fell flat.
He did slip up and give up the game when he said, “I was talking to my agent today about whether there was a book in this…”
Reid opened by claiming that Montgomery was a victim of “bullying” and “a lot of trolling.”
MSNBC's Joy Reid brought on the leftwing activist @gangrey who was fired from Axios for calling a DeSantis press release "propaganda." He doubled down on his comments & said him being fired has a "chilling effect" on journalism. He then teased a book to "stand up to DeSantis." pic.twitter.com/K1GdXiJ4I0
— Kevin Tober (@KevinTober94) March 17, 2023