On Sunday, Buzzfeed reported that Ben Shapiro and Michelle Fields resigned from Breitbart News over the site’s handling of allegations that Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, assaulted Fields.
“Today I informed the management at Breitbart News of my immediate resignation,” Fields told BuzzFeed. “I do not believe Breitbart News has adequately stood by me during the events of the past week and because of that I believe it is now best for us to part ways.”
“Andrew’s life mission has been betrayed,” Shapiro added. “Indeed, Breitbart News, under the chairmanship of Steve Bannon, has put a stake through the heart of Andrew’s legacy. In my opinion, Steve Bannon is a bully, and has sold out Andrew’s mission in order to back another bully, Donald Trump; he has shaped the company into Trump’s personal Pravda, to the extent that he abandoned and undercut his own reporter, Breitbart News’ Michelle Fields, in order to protect Trump’s bully campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who allegedly assaulted Michelle.”
As we reported earlier, Politico released audio and a transcript of the alleged encounter, which Trump and his supporters now say never happened. Fields, however, has shown the bruise that was left on her arm after she was grabbed.
Fields has also filed formal charges against Lewandowski. Those charges are currently under investigation.
But it seems that her former employer — Breitbart News — had decided not to support her claim, apparently choosing to side with Trump.
Breitbart has been riven by internal strife in recent days after Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski allegedly grabbed Fields and yanked her away from Trump as she was attempting to ask him a question after a press conference in Florida. The Trump campaign denied the incident, despite considerable evidence to the contrary.
Breitbart published a story casting doubt on Fields’ account, appearing to side with the Trump campaign over their own reporter. Joel Pollak, a senior editor-at-large at the organization, ordered staffers to stop defending Fields. One source with knowledge of the situation said some staffers who publicly defended Fields had been threatened with firing.
“Both Lewandowski and Trump maligned Michelle in the most repulsive fashion,” Shapiro added. “Meanwhile, Breitbart News not only stood by and did nothing outside of tepidly asking for an apology, they then attempted to abandon Michelle by silencing staff from tweeting or talking about the issue. Finally, in the ultimate indignity, they undermined Michelle completely by running a poorly-evidenced conspiracy theory as their lead story in which Michelle and Terris had somehow misidentified Lewandowski.”
This truly breaks my heart. But, as I am fond of saying, facts don’t care about your feelings, and the facts are undeniable: Breitbart News has become precisely the reverse of what Andrew would have wanted. Steve Bannon and those who follow his lead should be ashamed of themselves.
Here’s just some of the response from Trump supporters:
— Build It (@conservinews) March 14, 2016
Never mind the eyewitness from the Washington Post…
Then there was this:
Real classy. An on it goes.
Buzzfeed says this may not be the end of the story — others are said to be looking for a way out of the company and some are reportedly actively circulating resume
Relations between Bannon and the site’s staff — which were already fraught with tension over the direction and editorial vision for the company — have deteriorated sharply over the episode with the Trump campaign. According to one company source with knowledge of the situation, some editors have discussed telling Breitbart News CEO Larry Solov they will quit unless Bannon is ousted. Solov did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday night.
I have a feeling this is far from over.
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