A Hillary Voter Goes to Breitbart News. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, Gregory Ferenstein decides

Last Updated: November 30, 2016 @ 5:29 PM

Reporter and Hillary Clinton supporter Gregory Ferenstein is taking the “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach — he announced Wednesday that he’s going to write for Breitbart News.

No, this isn’t the setup for a sitcom. Ferenstein, who has written for TechCrunch, Mashable and Fast Company, explained in a Politico post that he hasn’t had a political change of heart. Rather, he wants to be in contact with Donald Trump voters instead of in a liberal bubble.

“I might vehemently disagree with some of the anti-immigration and militaristic beliefs that Trump used to excite his supporters. But if I want to persuade those supporters — and I do — I have to reach them on the platform where they are getting their ideas. In the meantime, I just might be persuaded a bit myself,” he wrote.

Ferenstein said he has written tech posts for Breitbart in the past, and found that its readers are not “stereotypically racist — as in believing one ethnicity is better than another.”

His first post for Breitbart Wednesday sought to use data to make that point. He said he conducted a survey of Trump and Clinton voters that reveals “most Trump supporters are not bigots.”

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, the co-founder of The Intercept best known for his reporting on Edward Snowden’s leaked documents, tweeted his interest in what Ferenstein is trying to do.

“This is easy to ridicule but — for journalists who spent all year impotently RTing & praising each other’s Trump denunciations — worth reading,” Greenwald wrote.

Former Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon, whom President-elect Trump has named as his chief strategist in the White House, has been accused of racism, sexism and anti-Semitism in part because of Breitbart headlines such as “There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Interviews,” and “Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew.”

Bannon has denied being a white nationalist, and Trump told the New York Times: “If I thought he was a racist or alt-right or any of the things, the terms we could use, I wouldn’t even think about hiring him.”