Former USA Today editor warns Gannett: You’re on a ‘road to ruin’ by writing off half the country – Fox News

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

David Mastio had spent much of his career climbing the USA Today editorial ladder in different stints over the course of 25 years, but that came to a screeching halt over a tweet. 

Mastio went public last week with a New York Post op-ed about how he was demoted as the deputy editorial page editor in August 2021 for declaring on Twitter, “People who are pregnant are also women.”

That was in response, he says, to a USA Today report that claimed transgender men can get pregnant. 

Citing uproar fueled by the “LGBTQ activists” on the staff, Mastio said USA Today editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll and editorial page editor Kristen DelGuzzi brought him into a meeting to inform him about his new job description and a $30,000 salary cut, offering a caveat that if he deleted the offending tweets, “she would not cut my salary as much.”

EX-USA TODAY EDITOR TELLS WHY HE SPOKE OUT AGAINST THE PAPER’S WOKE REPORTING: ‘THE PLACE HAS GONE OFF THE RAILS’

“I signed it because I have two kids to take care of. And, you know, I needed a job,” Mastio told Fox News Digital in an interview. 

Former USA Today editor David Mastio is speaking out about how wokeness and liberal groupthink have taken over the newspaper. 

Former USA Today editor David Mastio is speaking out about how wokeness and liberal groupthink have taken over the newspaper.  (Getty Images)

Thinking that the matter was settled, a “three strikes memo” was sent to Mastio by Carroll and DelGuzzi weeks later, listing “two previous failings” he had never been reprimanded for and issuing a warning that another misstep would lead to his firing. 

The two strikes he allegedly earned were for when he wrote in an editorial that Donald Trump was “not fit to clean the toilets of the Barack Obama presidential library,” since it apparently offended the custodial community, and when he published an op-ed from President Trump that was blasted by fact-checkers.

“It was at that point that I got a lawyer,” Mastio said. 

USA TODAY DELETES 23 ARTICLES BY ONE REPORTER AFTER REVIEW FINDS QUOTES ‘APPEARED TO BE FABRICATED’

After his lawyer sent a letter to USA Today, they raised his title from opinion writer to columnist and fully restored his salary. But he knew he still had to get out of there. 

“USA Today had always previously been a place that welcomed vocal conservatives, that welcomed having my opinion out there. And, you know, I just didn’t feel it was that kind of place anymore. And so I needed to 
leave,” Mastio said. “And I certainly wasn’t going to get promoted again, and I wasn’t going to be the next editorial page editor. So, you know, they said the next time I screwed up, I was going to be fired. So I 
thought it was better to leave before being fired.”

By the time Mastio left USA Today in March, he did not have many allies left at the paper, saying that the “good number of conservatives” who worked in the newsroom were either laid off or accepted buyouts over the years and “replaced with the young, inexpensive, woke workers.”

Mastio’s dramatic exit follows an ongoing trend of journalists being pushed out of media organizations due to the liberal politics and woke ideology that has taken over newsrooms, such as Bari Weiss at the New York Times, Andrew Sullivan at New York Magazine, and Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept. Mastio tells Fox News Digital he “clearly sees the parallels.”

“The atmosphere of USA Today certainly changed over the years of the Trump administration. And broadly, you know, the atmosphere of mainstream journalism changed over the Trump years, just became much more combative and intolerant of, you know, of anyone who dissents from orthodoxy,” Mastio said. 

GANNETT, OWNER OF USA TODAY, OTHER NEWSPAPERS, SCALING BACK OPINION PAGES TO COMBAT ‘BIASED’ PERCEPTION

It was always clear from his writings that Mastio was never a fan of Trump, saying he was “as anti-Trump as you can get,” recalling a piece he had written in July 2016 expressing that if Trump were elected, “hopefully he’ll be impeached during the transition.”

“You can’t be more anti-Trump than I am. And I wasn’t acceptable to USA Today,” Mastio said. 

Mastio first began at USA Today in 1995 as a news assistant for the opinion pages after graduating from the University of Iowa. After becoming an assistant op-ed page editor, he joined the Detroit News, which was then owned by USA Today’s parent company Gannett, as a Washington correspondent, and returned to USA Today as an editorial writer until he left the paper in 2002. Following jobs at various publications, he returned to USA Today in 2012 as its commentary editor and was promoted in 2015 to deputy editorial page editor. 

The corporate flags for the Gannett Co and its flagship newspaper, USA Today, fly outside their corporate headquarters. 

The corporate flags for the Gannett Co and its flagship newspaper, USA Today, fly outside their corporate headquarters.  (REUTERS/Larry Downing)

The former editor was compelled to speak out about USA Today’s woke transformation after the Washington Post published a report about how Gannett is scaling back the editorial pages of its newspapers in an effort to combat readers’ perception of liberal bias. 

He was particularly irked by what his former boss Kristen DelGuzzi told the Post, “This is part of the overall evolution of our industry… The opinion pages feel like the last part of the newsroom to evolve.”

“I just thought that was wildly untrue. And it made me want to say something,” Mastio told Fox News. “The conservative editorial pages had been shut down and replaced with liberal editorial pages all over the country… and I thought that the opinion sections going out across the country had evolved a lot over the last ten years and that readers had decided that they weren’t good anymore. And so I thought that story needed to be told.”

USA TODAY UNDER FIRE FOR ALLOWING STACEY ABRAMS TO RETROACTIVELY EDIT OP-ED TO DOWNPLAY BOYCOTT SUPPORT

Mastio was puzzled by Gannett’s campaign of diminishing the editorial pages since they “got rid of all of the conservatives,” pointing out the irony that “now they’re shutting up all the liberals as if this is a solution to the problem.”

“The solution to the problem is to have editorial pages that reflect the values of the communities that you operate in. And so if you’re in Arizona or Texas or Ohio or Iowa, you know, that means you have conservative voices in your opinion section. And not just syndicated columnists who are a dime a dozen, but actual people in the community who work for the newspaper as full-time staffers. That’s the solution. But that solution is expensive and, you know, Gannett has made the decision that the cheaper solution is to just get rid of opinion altogether,” Mastio said. 

MCLEAN, VIRGINIA - JUNE 17: The headquarters of USA Today owned by Gannett Co. is seen June 17, 2022 in McLean, Virginia. USA Today said that following an investigation 23 articles had been removed from its website after it was discovered that a reporter may have fabricated sources and quotes for the articles. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

MCLEAN, VIRGINIA – JUNE 17: The headquarters of USA Today owned by Gannett Co. is seen June 17, 2022 in McLean, Virginia. USA Today said that following an investigation 23 articles had been removed from its website after it was discovered that a reporter may have fabricated sources and quotes for the articles. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) ( Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Mastio alluded to his diversity trainings he had to undergo at Gannett in his New York Post piece, saying they made him realize as a “cis hetero white male” that he’d be fine in the end due to his inherent privilege. He told Fox News Digital that the trainings had the fingerprints of critical race theory, the controversial school of thought that examines how race affects U.S. power structures and institutions and marginalizes minorities.

“It started to really get bad about three years ago, and, you know, critical race theory is woven all throughout it,” he said. “They probably had a ten-minute section in one of these training courses about microaggressions. And if, you know, if there’s some bit of the college campus, left-wing culture that sends me around the bend is this idea of micro-aggressions. You know, it’s just so, so, so ridiculous. You know, by definition, they’re micro, and, we write things that offend people and upset people all the time. And yet in our internal operations, we’re supposed to worry about micro-aggressions.”

“You know, no one ever worries about micro-aggressions against pro-life people, and the way way we cover things or traditional Christians in the way we cover things. We’re all for microaggressing up the wazoo”… It just sent me around the bend.”

Since leaving USA Today, he has become the executive editor of the digital publication Straight Arrow News, hoping to give readers “old-fashioned straight news” and “treat both sides with respect,” something he believes Gannett isn’t doing. 

He hopes by speaking out, he can save Gannett from itself. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“The reason that I’m doing this is I’m hoping that Gannett will react and change course before it’s too late,” Mastio said. “There are tons of really good people and really good journalists across Gannett’s newspapers, and I think that they’re putting themselves on a road to ruin by writing off half of their readers, half of their potential customers. And I would much rather have Gannett be saved because there’s so much good there than this small group of loud, woke journalists, you know, driving it into a ditch.” 

Gannett did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 

Fox News’ David Rutz contributed to this report. 

Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/former-usa-today-editor-warns-gannett-road-ruin-writing-half-country

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: