Presidential candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke is not making many friends on either side of the fence.
On Wednesday, O’Rourke was giving a speech at Benedict College, which is a historically black college. His staffers kicked out Breitbart News senior editor-at-large Joel Pollak from event in order to ‘protect black students.’
Protect them, how? That’s what I would like to know. Appears to me like Beto did not want a Conservative editor reporting on his speech and used the “racist” card like a get out of jail ticket.
In a statement Wednesday, O’Rourke’s press secretary, Aleigha Cavalier, attempted to defend against the growing controversy stemming from Pollak’s removal, claiming that while the candidate “believes in the right to a free press,” Breitbart News “walks the line between being news and a perpetrator of hate speech.”
“Given this particular Breitbart employee’s previous hateful reporting and the sensitivity of the topics being discussed with students at an HBCU, a campaign staffer made the call to ask him to leave to ensure that the students attending the event felt comfortable and safe while sharing their experiences as young people of color,” Cavalier continued.
>@joelpollak of Breitbart reported that he'd been ejected from an event by the O'Rourke campaign bc he'd been "disruptive" at previous events. https://t.co/RSNYTXjBUE I asked O'Rourke campaign for its side of the story and got this statement from Aleigha Cavalier: pic.twitter.com/3pNkZrek8Y
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) August 28, 2019
A Breitbart spokesperson responded to the statement: “The false accusation that Breitbart is racist, or that its award-winning reporter — an Orthodox Jew, married to a black woman who serves in the military — is either racist or would make anyone at a black university uncomfortable is absurd. The irony of Mr. O’Rourke — who has stated himself that he is the beneficiary of ‘white privilege’ — purporting to decide for black students who should be banned from events that are open to the press, or what they should feel, is not lost on us.”
According to Pollak, he was standing against the wall in the lecture hall, waiting for the speech to begin. He was approached by a Beto staff member and questioned as to which news outlet he represented. Once Pollak showed his credentials, the staffer said, “Oh, hey. All right.”
“A few minutes later, before the event began, a campus police officer approached this reporter and motioned for me to accompany him to the back of the room, adding that I should bring any property I had with me.” Pollak said, “In the hallway outside, he informed me that I was to leave.”
“A different member of the O’Rourke campaign staff, who said his name was “Steven” and would not give a last name, said that I was being ejected because I had been “disruptive” at past events,” he added.
I guarantee that if Trump, or another Republican candidate had done the same, then there would have been major butthurt from the left. They would have thrown a massive fit. However, since it was one of their own, it will likely be swept under the rug.