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Monday, March 14, 2016

New-Media Turmoil

At Buzzfeed, Rosie Gray and McKay Coppins report:
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.
Breitbart has been riven by internal strife in recent days after Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski allegedly grabbed Fields and yanked her away from Trump as she was attempting to ask him a question after a press conference in Florida. The Trump campaign denied the incident, despite considerable evidence to the contrary.
Breitbart published a story casting doubt on Fields’ account, appearing to side with the Trump campaign over their own reporter. Joel Pollak, a senior editor-at-large at the organization, ordered staffers to stop defending Fields. One source with knowledge of the situation said some staffers who publicly defended Fields had been threatened with firing.
The exodus, which began with the company’s spokesman Kurt Bardella, is unlikely to end with Fields and Shapiro. Three sources say multiple staffers are searching for a way out of the company — with several actively circulating résumés, according to two sources — and more resignations could follow in the coming days and weeks. The company is known for having editorial employees sign unusually strict contracts, at least some of which include non-compete clauses that could make it difficult to leave Breitbart for another news outlet.