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Florida reporter fired by Axios after referring to DeSantis education event as ‘propaganda’



A Tampa area reporter for Axios was fired this week after an email he sent calling an upcoming education event featuring Governor Ron DeSantis “propaganda” was publicly Tweeted by the state’s education department.

Former Axios reporter Ben Montgomery lost his job this week after he replied to an emailed invite from the Florida Department of Education to an event featuring a roundtable with DeSantis to explore “exposing the diversity equity and inclusion scam in higher education” and decreasing or eliminating state funding for DEI courses and efforts by the state.

Montgomery replied to the email writing, “This is propaganda, not a press release,” and saying he had “read the whole thing and it was just a series of quotes about how bad DEI was.” The Tweet garnered over a million views and Montgomery received a phone call from his boss, the executive director of Axios Local, Jamie Stockwell, who confirmed it was indeed Montgomery who had sent the email before informing him he was fired and that his reputation in the local journalistic community had been “irreparably tarnished.”

DeSantis released a new proposal last month that would cut DEI programs all over the state. The cuts would include special programs in communities and on college campuses for minority groups as well as cutting gender studies, women’s studies, and some other courses from all public schools and universities. 

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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