Before Ben Shapiro stormed out of an interview with one of BBC News’s more conservative journalists, who Shapiro incorrectly assumed was a leftist, he explained that he left Breitbart News because of a now-debunked conspiracy theory.
In 2016 the former campaign manager for President Donald J. Trump, Cory Lewendowski, was accused of assaulting former Breitbart journalist Michelle Fields. Video footage later exonerated Lewendowski, but not before Shapiro would quit his job at Breitbart in protest of how they handled the event.
“Andrew’s life mission has been betrayed,” Shapiro wrote. “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.”
Video footage proved Fields attempted to touch the then-candidate, prompting Lewendowski to gently maneuver her away from the future president. Fields claimed she was bruised by the incident, and that it rose to the level of assault, while most impartial observers clearly saw a journalist attempting to touch a candidate who had already seen his life threatened numerous times.
Almost three full years later, Shapiro doubled down on the conspiracy during his interview with BBC News’s Andrew Neil, who is frequently derided by the country’s liberal press as too conservative.
“In 2015, 2016 Breitbart made a hard turn in favor of one particular candidate, and that’s their prerogative, lots of publications have an editorial point of view and Breitbart was one of those,” said Shapiro.
He then brought up the debunked conspiracy theory:
“The reason that I left Breitbart specifically, was because of an incident in which a Breitbart reporter, a female reporter, was grabbed by the arm by Cory Lewendowski, then-campaign manager for President Trump, and was bruised on the arm, and then Cory Lewendowski proceeded to lie about it, and Breitbart proceeded to throw its own reporter under the bus, suggest that she was lying or making this up, and at that point I determined that I could no longer work for a publication that wasn’t even willing to stand up for its own reporters and instead would throw those reporters under the bus in favor of a candidate that it sought to back.”
(Note: Big League Politics editor-in-chief Patrick Howley was briefly suspended from his former position at Breitbart for questioning Fields’ series of events, and was later reinstated).
As facts came out, the charges against Lewandowski were eventually dropped, the Trump campaign moved on, Fields faded back into obscurity, and Lewendowski bravely took on the role as the single pro-Trump commentator at CNN.
It appears Shapiro is still unwilling to accept the facts surrounding the event, perhaps because they hurt his feelings.
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