Breitbart News Network likes to think of itself as a “Fight Club” for journalists eager to punch it out with politicians and politicos.

Now its staff is fighting amongst itself.

In the span of six weird and wild days, the popular and often outlandish conservative website has been beset by recriminations and rants, leaks and counter-leaks. The rolling spectacle features one criminal complaint; one video being analyzed with frame-by-frame, Zapruder Film-like intensity; one story published (then unpublished) under the fake name of an aggrieved reporter’s father; and six resignations (at least, at last count).

The melodrama has pushed the site, a far-right-wing favorite that often angers mainstream conservatives, into the larger consciousness of the nation and turned it onto the latest flash point in an unpredictable and tumultuous presidential campaign.

The central player in the soap opera, Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, resigned on Monday, saying in an interview with The Washington Post that she thought the site was more interested in shielding Donald Trump than in supporting her assertion that the Republican front-runner’s campaign manager manhandled her at a campaign event.

“I don’t think they took my side,” Fields said. “They were protecting Trump more than me.”

Fields has become an insta-celebrity of the journalism world after saying that she was roughly grabbed on the arm, bruised and pushed by Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, after a campaign event in Jupiter, Fla., on March 8. What followed was a sequence of events not unlike the presentation of evidence at a trial, and one thing that was very much like that: Fields has filed a criminal complaint.

All the while, Fields has been relying on the eyewitness account of a competitor and battling doubts raised by her own employers. Washington Post reporter Ben Terris was standing nearby when the incident took place, and he has reported that Lewandowski is the person who grabbed Fields.

Transcript of an audiotape obtained by Politico seemed to support Terris and Fields.

After Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, Trump told CNN: “This was, in my opinion, made up. Everybody said nothing happened. Perhaps she made the story up. I think that’s what happened.”

But Breitbart’s coverage was skeptical. The site posted an article questioning that version of events.

“New video of Donald Trump’s press conference Tuesday evening shows that the Washington Post’s account of an altercation involving Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields could not possibly have happened as Ben Terris reported,” said a piece posted on Breitbart by writer and editor Joel B. Pollak.

The Breitbart story was accompanied by frame-by-frame still images of news footage showing Trump leaving his event in Jupiter trailed by a scrum of reporters.

But, even as it was questioning Terris, the site cast some additional doubt.

“Contrary to what Donald Trump said Thursday evening after the GOP debate, the incident certainly happened. However, the person who made contact with Fields was likely not Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski,” the post read.


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