"Andrew’s life mission has been betrayed":
Breitbart Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro and Political Reporter Michelle Fields have resigned from their positions after the company refused to take a solid stance defending Fields against Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
"Today I informed the management at Breitbart News of my immediate resignation. I do not believe Breitbart News has adequately stood by me during the events of the past week and because of that I believe it is now best for us to part ways," Fields released in a statement to Buzzfeed.
In his resignation statement Shapiro, who was trained by the late Andrew Breitbart, attributed a toxic, pro-Trump environment to Chairman Steven Bannon.
"As a close personal friend and mentee of Andrew Breitbart’s, it saddens me tremendously to announce that as of 9:00 p.m. Pacific time, I have resigned from Breitbart News as editor-at-large. I met Andrew Breitbart when I was seventeen years old and remained his friend until his tragic death; I signed on with Breitbart News two weeks before Andrew’s death because I believed in his mission," Shapiro released in a statement to Buzzfeed. "I am proud of what we accomplished in the years following his death, fighting back against the leftist media and debunking the left’s key narratives. I have many good friends at Breitbart News, including editor-in-chief Alex Marlow and editor-at-large John Nolte, and I admire CEO Larry Solov for his dedication to ensuring a financial future for Andrew’s widow, Susie, and his four children."
"Andrew built his life and his career on one mission: fight the bullies. But Andrew’s life mission has been betrayed. 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 assaulted Michelle. I spoke with Michelle the night after the incident. She told me her story. That story was backed by audiotape, eyewitness testimony from the Washington Post’s Ben Terris, physical bruises, and video tape," Shapiro continued. "Both Lewandowski and Trump maligned Michelle in the most repulsive fashion. Meanwhile, Breitbart News not only stood by and did nothing outside of tepidly asking for an apology, they then attempted to abandon Michelle by silencing staff from tweeting or talking about the issue. Finally, in the ultimate indignity, they undermined Michelle completely by running a poorly-evidenced conspiracy theory as their lead story in which Michelle and Terris had somehow misidentified Lewandowski. This is disgusting. Andrew never would have stood for it. No news outlet would stand for it. Nobody should. This truly breaks my heart. But, as I am fond of saying, facts don’t care about your feelings, and the facts are undeniable: Breitbart News has become precisely the reverse of what Andrew would have wanted. Steve Bannon and those who follow his lead should be ashamed of themselves." [emphases added]
Breitbart News and most, if not all, of conservative talk radio have defected and assimilated into the "mainstream" media. They have betrayed Mr. Breitbart, the U.S. Constitution, conservatism, the original Tea Party, and America itself. As have all of Trump's followers.
They are, in Victor Davis Hanson's spot-on designation, the "Vichy Republicans". They are contemptible, and beneath contempt.
And they, like their candidate, deserve nobody's "benefit of the doubt".
BTW, here's more video evidence of Lewandowski's attack on Miss Fields that Lady Michele will studiously and stubbornly ignore....
.....and hers and Shapiro's resignations are just the leading edge of "Trump Pravda's" collapse.
UPDATE: Another "through the looking glass moment" - Jonathan Chait proves my point:
My previous view of Trump was as a kind of vaccine. The Republican Party relies on the covert mobilization of racial resentment and nationalism. Trump, as I saw it, was bringing into the open that which had been intentionally submerged. It seemed like a containable dose of disease, too small to take over its host, but large enough to set off a counter-reaction of healthy blood cells.
i.e. Trump deliberately personifying every leftwingnut smear of conservatism that has ever been vomited upon us in order to "prove" them and permanently discredit and destroy us nationally.
But the outbreak of violence this weekend suggests the disease may be spreading far wider than I believed, and infecting healthy elements of the body politic.
Ex-conservative Trumplicans deciding to embrace and confirm the leftwingnut smears.
I remain convinced that Trump cannot win the presidency. But what I failed to account for was the possibility that his authoritarian style could degrade American politics even in defeat. There is a whiff in the air of the notion that the election will be settled in the streets - a poisonous idea that is unsafe in even the smallest doses.
Credibly and substantively and honestly explain to me how Chait is wrong about that, Trumplicans, with #BlackLivesMatter ready, willing, and raring to oblige and engage. I dare you.
UPDATE II: Trump now might face criminal charges for riot incitement:
A North Carolina sheriff’s office is investigating whether Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s actions at a Fayetteville, North Carolina, rally last week “rose to the level of inciting a riot,” according to a statement from the department’s lawyer.
“We are continuing to look at the totality of these circumstances . . . including the potential of whether there was conduct on the part of Mr. Trump or the Trump campaign which rose to the level of inciting a riot,” said the statement from Cumberland Sheriff’s Office attorney Ronnie Mitchell. An associate in Mitchell’s office read the statement aloud to a Washington Post reporter.
UPDATE III (3/15): Nope. Because Trump is a member of the political elite now, and thus he's "special" - and, apparently, as above the law as every other Democrat.