Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields and editor-at-large Ben Shapiro are resigning from the company over the site’s handling of Donald Trump’s campaign manager’salleged assault on Fields, BuzzFeed News has learned.
Fields and Shapiro informed Breitbart News chair Steve Bannon of their decision Sunday night.
“Today I informed the management at Breitbart News of my immediate resignation,” Fields said in a statement sent to BuzzFeed News. “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.”
In his own statement, Shapiro said the episode was emblematic of how he believes the site’s management had sold out the legacy of its founder and namesake, the late Andrew Breitbart.
“Andrew’s life mission has been betrayed,” Shapiro wrote. “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.”
Two key figures in the Breitbart News world announced their departures Sunday night following a wave of controversy that has dogged the conservative media giant for the last several weeks.
Reporter Michelle Fields and editor-at-large Ben Shapiro told Buzzfeed News that they have resigned from their positions, which stem directly from an altercation at a Donald Trump rally in which Fields was allegedly roughed up by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. While video has surfaced of Lewandowski reaching for Fields just before the altercation, Breitbart published a story that called into question the veracity of what Fields claimed, furthered by reports that Chairman Stephen Bannon made several disparaging comments about Fields, as many at the company seemed to show anoverall disinterest in defending Fields initially.
Less than one week after a national political reporter said she was attacked by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign manager, the Breitbart News reporter and its editor-at-large have resigned, adding to growing unrest at the conservative news organization.
In a statement released to BuzzFeed News, reporter Michelle Fields said she tendered her resignation Sunday because of the conservative news website’s handling of the alleged assault.
Breitbart News editor-at-large Ben Shapiro also tendered his resignation Sunday night, claiming the site’s strong support for Trump and its reaction to Fields’ reported assault “betrayed” the life mission of Breitbart News founder Andrew Breitbart.
“Andrew built his life and his career on one mission: fight the bullies,” Shapiro said in a statement released to BuzzFeed News. “In my opinion, (Breitbart News Chairman) 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, Michelle Fields, in order to protect Trump’s bully campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who allegedly assaulted Michelle.”