Leaked internal messages between Breitbart staffers show there is an intense divide between the site’s leadership and its employees in the aftermath of the alleged assault on former Breitbart employee Michelle Fields by Donald Trump’s campaign manager.
In the internal slack messages, obtained by Independent Journal Review, Breitbart’s John Nolte posted a tweet from Fields showing a bruise on her arm, sparking an intense internal debate.
— Michelle Fields (@MichelleFields) March 10, 2016
Fields resigned from Breitbart along with editor-at-large Ben Shapiro after she claimed the company refused to stand with her. Two more employees joined them on Monday:
JUST IN – Jordan Schachtel and Jarrett Stepman have also resigned from Breitbart pic.twitter.com/ViA1PFuDJr
— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) March 14, 2016
“Please do not retweet or respond,” Breitbart’s senior editor-at-large Joel Pollak responded to the Fields tweet.
Several writers immediately questioned why they shouldn’t be able to publicly support Fields during the controversy.
“I get why we shouldn’t engage the [Trump] folks but supporting our sister in arms seems a no-brainer,” Frances Martel, the site’s national security editor, responded.
Brandon Darby, Breitbart Texas managing editor, was more forceful in voicing his disagreement with Pollack.
“We should stand with our reporter. Wtf,” he wrote.
He later added, “Inexcusable. Stand with our reporters— non-negotiable. She didn’t deserve this and she damn sure didn’t deserve to get smeared.”
When Pollack claimed that they were “standing with our reporter,” Darby shot back, “Respectfully, I don’t feel like we are and I feel ashamed of this.”
Later in the discussion, another writer posted a tweet from Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, smearing Fields as an attention seeker. Pollak argued the statement needed no response because Lewandowski was “hanging himself.”
Other employees disagreed.
Nolte called the tweet a “declaration of war” and reporter Alex Swoyer stated, “It’s time to man up and stand together.”
Read the full leaked Slack thread here.