Labor reporter Mike Elk will now cover the union beat for Politico Pro, a publication he has criticized frequently in the past.
Elk is the newest addition to the Virginia-based site’s newly minted labor desk. He will join forces with Adam Levine’s uncle, Timothy Noah. Elk, who has spent his summer freelancing with the help of fans after being fired from the union-funded In These Times, expressed excitement for joining the team in Rosslyn.
— Timothy Noah (@TimothyNoah1) September 26, 2014
His newfound enthusiasm for not begging for money for a living is at odds with his previous criticism of Politico. He once retweeted the Nation reporter Lee Fang’s assertion that Politico’s reporting cannot be trusted for its inherent racism.
Elk is an expert on race relations in the United States, citing his gradeschool friendship with black people.
"There’s a certain element of white culture that goes back really to the Civil War—that I was bringing up earlier—of just thinking you can fuck over another group of people," he said on a union organizer’s podcast posted on Thursday (10-11 minutes in). "It plays out in statistics. African Americans are twice as likely as whites to want to be members of unions because they don’t have any illusions of being boss. They know who the man is. The man’s a white man."
"I don’t feel like a white guy," he said.
Noah declined an interview with the Washington Free Beacon, saying that media requests are handled by "somebody—hold on." Neither a Politico spokeswoman, nor Elk responded to emails for comment.
Elk has also been critical of Politico for failing to ignore stories that could cast unions in a less-than-stellar light.
Corporate funded poll claims 64% are against pub employees unions – really ps Politico would cite this http://politi.co/hbKPCs #notmywi
— Mike Elk (@MikeElk) February 18, 2011
good take on how POLITICO really sensationalized Romneys "pro-union comments" which were really strongly anti-union http://bit.ly/pVWE71 — Mike Elk (@MikeElk) July 5, 2011
Elk has singled out some of his new colleagues for "awful" reporting and seemed amazed that they have maintained employment despite his disapproval of their work.
How does @dylanbyers still have a job – can someone explain that?
— Mike Elk (@MikeElk) April 24, 2013
Elk was hired just eight days after he launched another fundraising campaign to pay for his reporting. Thirty-five donors gave him $2,500. It is unclear what will become of the money, as Elk spent Friday accepting congratulations and kudos for his new gig.