The Daily Beast

Inside a Divided Politico: Playbook Drama, ‘Woke Police’ Fears, and Union Fights

Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Getty

Politico is known for its wildly popular Playbook newsletter, its vast reporting talent pool, and its success as the most widely recognized Beltway-centric publication. But behind the flashy exterior, billion-dollar sale, and massive draw of their star reporters lies a series of burgeoning newsroom conflicts.

From personnel issues, including complaints about internal “woke police,” to a divisive unionization drive, to increasing competition in the profitable D.C. newsletter space, tensions appear to be growing within Politico, which was recently bought by German-based media powerhouse Axel Springer for more than $1 billion.

The Daily Beast spoke with 22 current and former Politico staffers for this story. Many of these sources said it is within Playbook, the outlet’s signature newsletter product, that disharmony has been most apparent.

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