Breitbart News reporter and editor-at-large resign over Trump campaign manager incident
There have been plenty of Trump incidents in the past week, but one in particular is having media implications, possibly blowing up the right-wing website Breitbart News. Their reporter Michelle Fields was allegedly grabbed by Donald Trump’s campaign manager after the conclusion of the candidates rally in Florida, leading first to charges against the Trump campaign, then backtracking on the part of the website.
Fields was attempting to ask Trump a question “but before he could answer I was jolted backwards,” Fields wrote on Breitbart News. “Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground, but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken.”
Fields said she did not know who did it, but Ben Terris of The Washington Post said that it was Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.
Breitbart News has been supporting the Trump campaign, but at first it appeared that the online news outlet would back up its reporter, letting Fields post her account of the incident. But that did not last long as management instructed staff to lay off the story.
Last week, Endeavor Strategies CEO Kurt Bardella, who worked as a spokesman for Breitbart News, dropped the media company as a client because of the affair, telling CNN that “when you get to a point where you can’t 100 percent support who you’re representing, the thing to do is step aside and inform them that you can no longer represent them.”
Today, Fields resigned: “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,” Fields said in a statement sent to BuzzFeed.
Editor-at-large Ben Shapiro also resigned over the incident and the lack of support coming from Breitbart News:
“Both Lewandowski and Trump maligned Michelle in the most repulsive fashion,” Shapiro said. “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.”
Breitbart News seemed to strike back, posting a rather out there story about Shapiro’s resignation:
Friends of Hamas could not be found for comment.
“The article was written by me as part of an effort to make light of a significant company event, and was published as a result of a misunderstanding without going through the normal editorial channels,” said Breitbart News Editor-at-Large and In-House Counsel Joel B. Pollak.
“I apologize to Michelle Fields, my friend Ben Shapiro, and to everyone concerned.”