Breitbart publishes story calling resigning editor a story-stealing gadfly who’s betraying readers

Right-wing news site performed the journalist equivalent of mooning editor-at-large Monday after he resigned in protest over management’s reaction to an alleged assault on a reporter.

Tonight, I resigned from Breitbart News due to their treatment of @MichelleFields. My full statement:…

Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 14, 2016

I don't believe that @joelpollak is a nasty enough human being to write that piece this morning. So I don't believe his statement.

Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 14, 2016

“Ben Shapiro Betrays Loyal Breitbart Readers in Pursuit of Fox News Contributorship,” the site declared in a post written under the name William Bigelow — a pseudonym Shapiro’s father used to avoid death threats.

Breitbart quickly deleted the post, saying it was published by mistake.

Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields accused Donald Trump’s campaign manager of grabbing her and dragging her away after she asked the candidate a question. Fellow reporters supported her claim, but the Trump campaign denied it. Breitbart published a story concluding that Fields’ version of the incident couldn’t be true and reportedly instructed staff not to support Fields publicly.

“Andrew (Breitbart’s) life mission has been betrayed,” Shapiro said in a statement he gave to Buzzfeed Sunday. “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.”

Fields also resigned over the incident.

Breitbart’s response to Shapiro was…colourful.

Breitbart / Google cacheBreitbart / Google cache

“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.

“Friends of Hamas could not be found for comment.”

The writer seems particularly upset that Shaprio would talk to Buzzfeed — “a site that has been aiming to destroy Breitbart News since the moment Andrew Breitbart died” — but seems excited for a chance to get some jabs in.

Breitbart / Google cacheBreitbart / Google cache

“Breitbart news editor-in-chief Alex Marlow was stupefied: ‘My friend Ben Shapiro broke the news on a website that asks its staff to drink their own urine? Impossible.’”

The writer also threw in a plagiarism accusation:

“Breitbart California editor Joel B. Pollak, Shapiro’s friend and fellow Orthodox Jew, expressed concern for his former colleague.

“‘I’m worried. I had enjoyed listening to Ben read Breitbart California stories, word for word, without attribution, on his morning radio show. Now what will he do for content?’”

Pollak, the site’s senior editor-at-large, took credit for writing the post.

I don't believe that @joelpollak is a nasty enough human being to write that piece this morning. So I don't believe his statement.

Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 14, 2016

“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,” Pollak said in a statement. “I apologize to Michelle Fields, my friend Ben Shapiro, and to everyone concerned.”

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