Ex-USA Today editor who spoke out on paper’s woke-ness explains what sent him ‘around the bend’

David Mastio, a former editor at USA Today, is talking about why he was demoted from his position as an editor at the newspaper—and why he eventually jumped ship.

Speaking to Fox News Digital, Mastio observed that he is not the sort to just keep his mouth shut when he sees something ridiculous. In his case, this is what led to his dangerous tweet about an article that mentioned “pregnant people,” a mysterious new human category the Left has magically conjured out of thin air and subsequently compelled everyone else to accept on pain of demotion, firing, and—maybe at some point in the near future—death.

Mastio, who was a deputy editor at the newspaper’s editorial page, came across a USA Today story that referenced the CDC approving the COVID-19 vaccine for the aforementioned “pregnant people, and “it just sent me around the bend,” he said.

“I knew there was a movement inside the paper to stop saying pregnant women and start saying pregnant people to be more inclusive of the men who get pregnant. Then I just needed to say something,” Mastio explained. “You know, I got into opinion journalism because I’m not the kind of journalist who can keep his mouth shut. So I needed to say something.”

Evidently, Mastio didn’t get the memo the rest of us did—that the woke Left isn’t interested in anyone else’s opinion. The matter, as they love to say, is settled.

In any case, Mastio made the unconscionable mistake of tweeting that “people who are pregnant are also women.” This was viewed as unacceptable by the newspaper’s LGBTQ Employee Resource Group, to say nothing of its sinister and shadowy “diversity committee,” which sounds like something out of a Soviet dystopia.

The paper didn’t fire Mastio—that would be far too crude and obvious—he was summarily demoted to the rank of lowly columnist and was threatened with a massive pay cut. The whole incident left a foul taste in his mouth. Mastio even explained that during an internal investigation, he was taken to the woodshed over a piece he’d written back in 2017, in which he’d contended that President Donald Trump wasn’t fit to “clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library.” That was seen as being offensive to toilet cleaners.

Eventually, Mastio fled USA Today for a gig at the startup outfit Straight Arrow News, which seems to be a far more congenial fit. And once free of the stifling atmosphere of wokeness, he finally had the freedom to say what he’d always believed.

Mastio recently wrote an opinion piece describing his experience in the New York Post.

“[W]hat if our journalism is written by people who look like America but sound like the Harvard English Department?” he wrote. “What if we look like our communities but don’t think anything like them or share their values and priorities? Readers are bound to notice.”

He also observed that Gannett, the media group that owns USA Today and many other newspapers around the country, is increasingly out of touch with America.

“Gannett’s top editors and publishers are filling the company with a cadre of young college graduates who share a narrow ‘woke’ ideology that is alien to the values of most of its readers. In a closely divided America, Gannett has a grand total of one local conservative staff columnist. There’s one conservative editorial page left in the network. In recent years, I’ve watched good conservative editorial pages in Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Oklahoma City wink out to be replaced with bland corporate liberalism. There are zero conservative editorial cartoonists left in the network.”

It looks like David Mastio will be fine at his new gig. But the old newspapers are dying, and the lurch toward wokeness is only hastening their demise.


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Todd Jaquith


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