The Michelle Fields-Cory Lewandowski saga took a bizarre turn overnight that resulted in a press statement that rivals anything put out by North Korea announcing eleven holes-in-one by Kim Jong Il.
As a brief recap, Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields was manhandled by the dwarfish and unmanly campaign manager for Donald Trump, Cory Lewandowski. In a series of events that would be bizarre if the names “Trump” and “Breitbart” didn’t keep appearing, Lewandowski admitted doing it (he didn’t recognize her as being from Breitbart was his excuse), then denied doing it, then claimed Fields was some sort of provocateur, you know the type Breitbart hires to make Trump look bad. Breitbart sort of demanded an apology, then a reported claimed it was all bogus, and Breitbart covered the bogus conspiracy theory as though it was some other event involving a North Korean dictator. Michelle Fields filed a criminal complaint against Lewandowski, upping the ante and making her persona non grata at Breitbart (that is actually a mark of honor). Their spokesman, Kurt Bardella, quit on Friday and made a beeline to television interviews where he proclaimed Breitbart was knowingly lying when they tried to push the “mistaken identity” defense of Lewandowski. Now one of the Grand Poobahs at Breitbart has put the staff under an omerta which basically forbids them from tweeting or saying anything supportive of Fields.
All in all, it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of sociopaths.
Now we come to the next phase. Over the weekend Michelle Fields resigned. Not a surprise. You can’t have a reporter covering your bread-and-butter subject if they are involved in a criminal complaint with that subject and the organization has basically branded the reporter as a liar. Then editor-at-large Ben Shapiro resigned. And he chose to send his resignation statement to Breibart’s leftwing nemesis, BuzzFeed:
Andrew built his life and his career on one mission: fight the bullies. But 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. I spoke with Michelle the night after the incident. She told me her story. That story was backed by audiotape, eyewitness testimony from The Washington Post’s Ben Terris, physical bruises, and video tape.
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.
This is disgusting. Andrew never would have stood for it. No news outlet would stand for it.
This truly breaks my heart. But, as I am fond of saying, facts don’t care about your feelings, and the facts are undeniable: Breitbart News has become precisely the reverse of what Andrew would have wanted. Steve Bannon and those who follow his lead should be ashamed of themselves.
And how does an organization that has been accused of being Trump’s “personal Pravda” react:
If you are amazed at the article, then you will be equally amazed at the complete lack of guts that led to its posting. First, check the URL of the page:
And, if you go to that URL now, this is what you see:
But the same guy who has demanded silence from Breitbart staff as the price of continued employment says “ha, ha, it was just a little jokey-poo:”
Here’s Breitbart stmt on that piece that was pulled, just came in: pic.twitter.com/ZIzbnGvy6a
— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) March 14, 2016
As I’ve said on several occasions, Trump completely corrupts everything he touches. It has been obvious for quite a while that the relationship Breitbart has with Trump is not one of a news organization covering a candidate but rather of a wholly-owned Trump subsidiary that lives in terror of making Trump angry. The internal staff communications over Michelle Fields indicate that what you are seeing is not a bunch of like minds arriving at the same conclusion but rather a corporate business decision.