Earlier this week, the spokesperson for Breitbart News, Kurt Bardella, resigned from Breitbart News over the way the network handled the alleged assault of Breitbart political reporter Michelle Fields by Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. From the beginning, Breitbart appeared to be taking a very pro-Trump position on the matter, seemingly throwing their own reporter under the bus.
Breitbart president and CEO Larry Solov offered a very weak statement regarding the matter saying that IF Lewandowski did put his hands on Fields, then he should apologize. Breitbart editor-at-large and protege of Andrew Breitbart, Ben Shapiro, took great exception with this and said, among other things, that Lewandowski should be fired. Now, Breitbart has suffered an even greater blow over their handling of this situation with two very high profile figures resigning from the network.
The reporter at the center of the incident, Michelle Fields, and Ben Shapiro have both resigned from their positions with Breitbart.
In a statement obtained by Buzzfeed, Fields called Breitbart News Network out for siding with Trump and throwing her under the bus through this incident.
“Today I informed the management at Breitbart News of my immediate resignation. 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.”
Shapiro, who was a protégé of Breitbart since he was a 17-year-old freshman at UCLA, took a strong stand against the site which bears his mentors name for betraying Andrew Breitbart’s life mission and comparing the network to the Soviet-controlled Pravda.
“Andrew’s life mission has been betrayed. 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.”
Shapiro continued in his excoriation of Breitbart for the way they handled the situation.
“Both Lewandowski and Trump maligned Michelle in the most repulsive fashion. 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.”
According to some reports, Breitbart executive chairman Steven Bannon made disparaging remarks about Fields during conversations with other Breitbart staff. In addition, Breitbart’s senior-editor-at-large Joel Pollak apparently instructed other staffers to stop discussing the alleged assault on Fields on social media.
Hadas Gold, a reporter for POLITICO, reports that there may be more resignations to come from Breitbart staffers, noting that no one wants to stand with Bannon on this issue.
“No one wants to stand with Bannon,” a Breitbart source tells me. (more resignations are coming it seems) pic.twitter.com/DP1UiwzHQ2
— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) March 14, 2016
Rosie Gray, a reporter at BuzzFeed News, tweeted that she has received word that some Breitbart staffers are issuing an ultimatum that either Bannon goes or they walk.
— Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) March 14, 2016
h/t Tammy Bruce