After Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields was beaten up by one of Donald Trump's aides while covering a Florida campaign event, the company's senior management sided with Trump, ordering staff to cease communicating about their colleague's treatment.
Fields and editor-at-large Ben Shapiro have both resigned in protest, penning scorching statements condemning their employer and naming Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon as specifically culpable, accusing him of betraying founder Andrew Breitbart's "mission."
Shapiro accused Bannon of turning the news site "into Trump's personal Pravda."
"Both Lewandowski and Trump maligned Michelle in the most repulsive fashion," Shapiro wrote in his resignation 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."
The exodus, which began with the company's spokesman Kurt Bardella, is unlikely to end with Fields and Shapiro. Three sources say multiple staffers are searching for a way out of the company — with several actively circulating résumés, according to two sources — and more resignations could follow in the coming days and weeks. The company is known for having editorial employees sign unusually strict contracts, at least some of which include non-compete clauses that could make it difficult to leave Breitbart for another news outlet.
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.
Michelle Fields, Ben Shapiro Resign From Breitbart
[Rosie Gray and McKay Coppins, Buzzfeed]
(via Naked Capitalism)