Editor-at-large Ben Shapiro announced his resignation from Breitbart after the news organisation covered-up an alleged assault by Donald Trump’s campaign manager on a fellow Breitbart reporter.
Michelle Fields claims a Trump staffer forcefully pushed her away from interviewing the Presidential candidate at a news conference in Florida, and as a result of Breitbart downplaying the incident both Shapiro and Fields announced their resignation on Sunday night.
Four others, including national security correspondent Jordan Schachtel and editor Jarrett Stepman, left the news site since the incident. Schachtel wrote that Breitbart is “no longer a jornalistic enterprise,” claiming it resembles a “media super-PAC for the Trump campaign.”
Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew and syndicated columnist, was an editor at large for the right-wing site founded by the late Andrew Breitbart.
“Andrew [Breitbart’s] life mission has been betrayed,” Shapiro wrote in a statement he submitted to Buzzfeed. “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.”
Breitbart News’ editor at large, Joel Pollak, published a satirical article on the site Monday morning mocking Shapiro for resigning and suggesting he was looking for a post at Fox News.
“Former Breitbart News editor-at-large Ben Shapiro announced Sunday evening via left-wing Buzzfeed that he is abandoning Andrew Breitbart’s lifelong best friend, widow, hand-picked management team and friends in pursuit of an elusive contributorship at the Fox News Channel,” the post read.
It was posted under the name William Bigelow — the name Shapiro’s father, David, used while writing for the site, Politico reported.
The article has since been deleted but can be read in full here. According to Politico, David Shapiro also resigned from Breitbart on Sunday night.
The Trump campaign has denied Fields’ allegations. She and Washington Post reporter Ben Terris, who was standing next to Fields at the time, both wrote accounts of the incident.
“Both Lewandowski and Trump maligned Michelle in the most repulsive fashion,” Shapiro wrote in his statement.
“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.”