The count is up to six Breitbart News employees who have walked out of the organization for becoming a propaganda site for bloviating billionaire and reality TV actor Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations.
Among those who have resigned the past few days in righteous indignation are former Breitbart spokesman Kurt Bardella, former editor-at-large Ben Shapiro, editor Jarrett Stepman, national security correspondent Jordan Schachtel, Shapiro’s father, who wrote under the name William Bigelow, and reporter Michelle Fields, who allegedly was assaulted by Donald Trump’s campaign manager at a recent Trump campaign rally.
The turmoil at the organization founded by the late great Andrew Breitbart, who tragically and unexpectedly passed away four years ago, didn’t just magically occur overnight, nor was it caused exclusively by the way management chose to take the side of the Trump campaign over the word — and subsequent (audio, video and eye witness) evidence — of their reporter Michelle Fields’ version of the unruly incident.
No, the manhandling of Fields’ appears to be the last straw in concerns that were building last year, as the site, led by Stephen K. Bannon, had become the mouthpiece for the Trump campaign.
In August of last year, as Trump’s political ascendancy was beginning to skyrocket, several Breitbart staffers (it is not known if they are the among those who just resigned) accused Breitbart News of having a sleazy “pay-for-play” financial agreement with the bloviating billionaire and reality TV actor that provided Trump with positive coverage in exchange for money, exactly the kind of cronyism Andrew Breitbart abhorred.
Buzzfeed reported on August 9, 2015:
According to four sources with knowledge of the situation, editors and writers at the outlet have privately complained since at least last year that the company’s top management was allowing Trump to turn Breitbart into his own fan website — using it to hype his political prospects and attack his enemies.
One current editor called the water-carrying “despicable” and “embarrassing,” and said he was told by an executive last year that the company had a financial arrangement with Trump. A second Breitbart staffer said he had heard a similar description of the site’s relationship with the billionaire but didn’t know the details; and a third source at the company said he knew of several instances when managers had overruled editors at Trump’s behest. Additionally, a conservative communications operative who works closely with Breitbart described conversations in which “multiple writers and editors” said Trump was paying for the ability to shape coverage, and added that one staffer claimed to have seen documentation of the “pay for play.”
All four sources spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to jeopardize their jobs; and none knew exactly how Trump’s alleged arrangement with the privately held company worked.
RELATED: Two More Journalists Exit Breitbart News: ‘An Unaffiliated Media Super PAC For The Trump Campaign’
While Bannon strongly denied the accusation, claiming that the organization had “no financial relationship with Donald Trump” in any way at any time, the organizations sycophantic “do no wrong” coverage of Donald Trump, as well as the vilification of anyone who speaks ill of him, has got to leave readers wondering.