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Dan Gilmore / March 10, 2016

After Hurt Reporter, Breitbart Caters to Trump

Breitbart is feeding the crocodile, hoping it will eat it last.

It could be argued that Breitbart News has basically been an arm of Donald Trump’s campaign. Thus, things probably got awkward in the newsroom when Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, manhandled a female reporter working for the media outlet.

Trump has leveled his divisive rhetoric against reporters in the past. Last month, he told crowds he wanted to change the libel laws so that he could sue publications over stories he didn’t like, for example. Breitbart’s reporter, Michelle Fields, approached the real estate mogul Tuesday to ask him a question about affirmative action. This is how Fields described what happened next: “Trump acknowledged the question, but before he could answer I was jolted backwards. Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground, but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken.”

Other reporters identified the man as Lewandowski and Breitbart didn’t have the courage to support its reporter and call out the campaign it so often fawned over in the past. In a statement, Breitbart CEO Larry Solov said, “It’s obviously unacceptable that someone crossed a line and made physical contact with our reporter. … Ben Terris of The Washington Post told her that it was Corey Lewandowski. If that’s the case, Corey owes Michelle an immediate apology.”

Just an apology? There are witnesses that Lewandowski laid hands on Fields in such a way as to leave a bruise. Lewandowski’s excuse is that he didn’t recognize Fields was from Breitbart. He thought she was a hostile mainstream media journalist. It doesn’t matter. No one from polite society would lay a hand on a nonviolent person, let alone a woman. Breitbart has cashed in on the new yellow journalism, similar to how CBS News CEO Leslie Moonves said of Trump’s candidacy: “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” To paraphrase the Gipper, Breitbart is feeding the crocodile, hoping the croc will eat it last.

> Update: After one Breitbart reporter suggested the alleged victim lied about the attack, that reporter was suspended by the site. Things are a mess over there… Meanwhile, Fields provided physical evidence on Twitter:

> Update II: The reporter has filed charges.

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