Vice has let go one of its editors, Mitchell Sunderland, after news came to light that he had corresponded with former Breitbart editor and right wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. In leaked emails, Sunderland allegedly reached out to Yiannopoulos to mock the feminist writer Lindy West; the next day Breitbart published a hit piece on her.
This was just a small tidbit from the blockbuster 6,000-word story that BuzzFeed News published yesterday, which chronicled the ways that Yiannopoulos and Steve Bannon attempted to court white supremacists to grow Breitbart’s profile. Media circles were abuzz with news that liberal-leaning reporters were secretly corresponding with Yiannopoulos. Other writers allegedly emailing with Yiannopoulos include veteran tech reporter Dan Lyons–who reportedly made fun of two prominent women on Twitter, Zoë Quinn and Amber Disko–and former Slate reporter David Auerbach–who allegedly provided personal details about various people whom Breitbart has been known to cover. Today, BuzzFeed added an update that Vice has fired Sunderland.
Sunderland’s involvement in this scandal is somewhat ironic. Since its launch, he had been an editor and writer at Broadly, Vice’s women-focused website; his email about West reportedly described her as a “fat feminist.” Sunderland has yet to comment on the situation. Auerbach has taken to Twitter to deny BuzzFeed‘s reporting. Lyons said on Twitter that he had apologized to the women about whom he corresponded with Yiannopoulos. After Quinn responded that she never received her apology, Lyons blocked her on Twitter. Lyons later said he had tried to send it, but wasn’t sure if he had the right address.