In response to news that Ben Shapiro and Michelle Fields resigned from Breitbart News, the website posted — and then deleted — a story Monday morning bashing the former editor-at-large for allegedly pursuing a “Fox News contributorship.”
“Ben Shapiro Betrays Loyal Breitbart Readers in Pursuit of Fox News Contributorship,” the story’s headline read.
“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 story continued. “It was business as usual for the ambitious conservative gadfly, who is known to live on the edge, courting and then leaving a series of companies over the past several years.”
Shapiro and Fields both announced their decision to resign from Breitbart Sunday night, saying they felt the company’s top brass chose to defend GOP front-runner Donald Trump in light of the allegation that Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski forcibly grabbed Fields during a press scrum last Tuesday.
The story was published using the pseudonym that Shaprio’s father — David Shapiro — used when writing for the news website. He used the pseudonym to protect his real identity, according to Politico. The elder Shapiro has since resigned from the company.
“Breitbart put this under his byline because they knew I’d have to out him,” Shapiro told Politico. “The fact they would use my father’s pseudonym in order to attack me just exposes how despicable they are.”
In a statement to Politico’s Hadas Gold, Breitbart’s senior editor-at-large Joel Pollak took responsibility for the story, claiming it was never meant to be published.
Here’s Breitbart stmt on that piece that was pulled, just came in: pic.twitter.com/ZIzbnGvy6a
— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) March 14, 2016
However, Shapiro later said in a tweet that he doesn’t believe Pollak is behind either the story or the statement.
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
Shapiro and Fields aren’t the first Breitbart staffers to make their exit amid the ongoing controversy. Breitbart PR-guru Kurt Bardella parted ways with the company last week and more exits are expected in the coming days.
You can read the original story with the original graphics in its entirely here, via an interview archive.
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