Breitbart News is reportedly planning to sue a “major media company” over reports that labeled the alt-right outlet a “white nationalist website.”
“Breitbart News Network, a pro-America, conservative website, is preparing a multi-million dollar lawsuit against a major media company for its baseless and defamatory claim that Breitbart News is a ‘white nationalist website,’” the company said in a statement to The Hill on Tuesday.
The website has come under heavy scrutiny in recent days, after President-elect Donald Trump named the site’s former executive chairman Steve Bannon his chief strategist and senior adviser in the White House. Bannon had previously served as the CEO of the Trump campaign.
Bannon and Breitbart have taken fire for their so-called “alt-right” views, which have led some critics to label both “white nationalist.” In one example, critics have pointed to a story Breitbart once published under Bannon’s leadership that referred to conservative commentator Bill Kristol as a “renegade Jew.”
“Breitbart News cannot allow such vicious racial lies to go unchallenged, especially by cynical, politically-motivated competitors seeking to diminish its 42 million monthly readers and its number one in the world political Facebook page. Breitbart News rejects racism in all its varied and ugly forms. Always has, always will,” the statement continues.
“The diversity of the company’s news coverage and its staff continue to embody Andrew Breitbart’s colorblind, distinctly American commitment to ‘E pluribus unum’ — out of many, one.” Breitbart, who was raised Jewish, founded the site in 2007. He died of heart failure in 2012 at age 43.
Bannon has also been accused of anti-Semitism, racism and sexism over a number of headlines published by Breitbart under his leadership. Bannon’s ex-wife has also accused him of making anti-Semitic comments during their marriage, which Bannon has strongly denied.