This is what happens when you poke the Politico Europe wasps’ nest

Earlier today I blogged about Politico Europe. My blog entry outlined some good points about it, but found failings too, and was the result of many conversations with many respected people over a couple of weeks. One of the points I raised was that Politico does not react well to criticism… so I was then subjected to quite an extraordinary series of attacks on Twitter from three of their journalists – Matthew Kaminski (Editor), Matthew Karnitschnig (Chief Germany Correspondent), and especially Tara Palmeri (Correspondent). I’ve taken screenshots of the relevant tweets and include them here:

kaminski

“Thanks for your interest” FTW! But this was mild in comparison to:

karnitschnig

So I am a liar, a fraud, an ideologue, and offer broadside. This is the Twitter behaviour of a journalist of a supposedly reputable publication? He’s also ready to compare people to Hitler:

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 19.24.00

And then to Palmeri – who accuses me of putting up the blog entry at the behest of a client. To rebut that one I listed my current clients here, but that drew no reaction. The rest of the tweets directed at me are here:

palmeri

So then, that’s what happens if you provoke Politico Europe. It’s not pleasant. They do not engage with the critique, but instead try to play the person instead. I doubted their publication a bit before today, and now I am downright sceptical of it – and especially the personal behaviour of some of its journalists.

I am also a lucky one. I have been in the EU business long enough (this blog pre-dates the existence of Politico US, let alone Politico Europe – perhaps you better think about that Tara!) to know how to defend myself, and I also have some tremendous contacts and allies who have stepped in to back me on Twitter today. I can’t thank you all individually, but you know who you are. I do however wonder what happens to someone who does not have the network or the reputation I have if they happen to cross Politico – it makes me very nervous about the power they wield in Brussels if they behave this way in response to even measured criticism.

8 thoughts on “This is what happens when you poke the Politico Europe wasps’ nest

  1. You do criticise Politco for getting facts wrong and not having fact checkers but don’t provide any examples.

  2. This is just extraordinary. Do you think you may have touched on a raw nerve there? 😉

    Of course, it’s well known that when someone attacks the person rather than refuting their message, they’ve already conceded the point. What’s less well appreciated is that the way they attack the person often reflects their own internal weaknesses.

    So it’s particularly interesting that the journalist covering Energiewende says you have a credibility problem. Yeah, right: http://www.renewablesinternational.net/politico-runs-out-of-arguments/150/537/92006/

    Keep pokin’ that nest 🙂 Who knows what you’ll find?

  3. Regardless who said, what, when and why there are ways to handle an online dispute and ways not to do that.
    Most of the time, if you keep composure or if you put it on the smiling side, you can handle any dispute. Most times the person, entity, business or institution representatives that lose composure also lose their image and end up being wrong about the whole thing. I have been in quite a few myself and I have learned with practice…

    In this situation, Jon shows us this VERY BASIC principle of public online communication. What we can see from the Twitter sphere is that people have been more focused on the “Twitter battle” rather than the nature of the criticism itself. As a consequence, the colleagues from Politico didn’t look well on this (again, regardless the nature of the dispute). They looked like they can’t handle criticism, which is quite absurd considering it is their job to be critical.

    Good case study and definitely a good laugh for the eurobubble Twitter audience.
    Have a great day everyone!

  4. This is just extraordinary. Do you think you may have touched on a raw nerve there?

    Of course, it’s well known that when someone attacks the person rather than address the message, they’ve already conceded the point. What’s less well appreciated is that the way they attack the person reflects their own weaknesses. Which makes it particularly interesting that the journalist covering Energiewende says you have a credibility problem.

    Yeah, right: http://www.renewablesinternational.net/politico-runs-out-of-arguments/150/537/92006/

    Keep pokin’ that nest. Better: dig deeper!

  5. The Politico posts read as if they had been written by a bunch of school children. Most journalists for local papers could have done better.

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