I’ll save the most charming aspect of this until the end.
As I noted last night, Ben Shapiro and Michelle Fields have resigned from Breitbart.com in protest of the company’s unsupportive attitude after Fields was assaulted by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. (New video, touted by Trumpeters as exonerating Lewandowski, actually makes it clearer than ever that Lewandowski is the one who grabbed Fields’s left arm.)
This morning, news emerges that Breitbart briefly published a piece mocking Shapiro. The piece has been disappeared from Breitbart, but the Web archive link is here, and I have saved a copy here in case the Web archive link goes bad. Samples:
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.
Shapiro, a Harvard lawyer and member of the State Bar of California, apparently violated virtually every clause in his employment contract during an appearance on The Kelly File last Thursday evening.
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.
. . . .
The story ran next to a photograph of a baby snake hatching from its shell, apparently for emphasis.
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?”
Breitbart News senior management issued a short statement: “Ben’s listicles will be missed.”
The mood was somber at Breitbart News’ Los Angeles office, where one staffer stared silently at promotional copies of Shapiro’s books, left behind on the shelves when the author stopped showing up for work, several years ago.
Alleged Fox News contributor Michelle Fields also resigned.
(Shapiro says he was not trying to get a job at Fox News and that he has “never received” a job from them.)
So, that’s charming. Oh, but it gets better. Here’s the kicker:
The unusual piece, which can be read in full here, was even more shocking for Shapiro because it was posted under the pseudonym his father used while writing for the site — William Bigelow.
Shapiro’s father, the writer David Shapiro, also resigned from Breitbart on Sunday evening.
According to the younger Shapiro, his father was hired under the pseudonym to protect his safety since the younger Shapiro said he received so many death threats for his writings.
“Breitbart put this under his byline because they knew I’d have to out him,” Shapiro said in an interview on Monday, adding that by linking to his profile with the California State Bar the site exposed personal information, though that information is outdated. “The fact they would use my father’s pseudonym in order to attack me just exposes how despicable they are.”
It’s . . . hard to disagree with that, isn’t it?
Joel Pollak has taken responsibility for writing the piece:
“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. “I apologize to Michelle Fields, my friend Ben Shapiro, and to everyone concerned.”
Ben Shapiro replied:
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
So there you have it.