In a lawsuit signifying a schism in the house that Andrew Breitbart built, former BigJournalism.com editor Dana Loesch has sued Breitbart.com LLC, claiming the company refused to release her from a contract and warned other media companies away from hiring her.
Loesch, 34, is a St. Louis-based conservative radio host. She wrote in her legal filing that the fallout from her eventual departure from the Breitbart brand was an “attempt by one vindictive party to sabotage the reputation and career of another.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported on the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court Friday. Loesch seeks $75,000 in damages and a court order that her contract with Breitbart.com is legally terminated.
When she decided not to renew that contract in September, Loesch claims, the company refused to acknowledge her resignation and renewed the contract for another year without her consent.
“Since that time,” the lawsuit alleges, “Defendant has made public remarks stating that Loesch is still a contributor with Breitbart.com … [and] has made remarks to its affiliates and competitors that Loesch is still exclusively engaged with Defendant as an Internet editor.”
Loesch’s last online contribution to the Breitbart.com family of websites was on Sept. 13.
She also claims Breitbart.com “has otherwise precluded Loesch from seeking similar employment as an Internet editor or otherwise by threatening legal action against Loesch and against Defendant’s competitors who would otherwise employ Loesch.”
The result, Loesch’s lawsuit alleges, was Breitbart ”binding” her “to what amounts to an indentured servitude in limbo.”
Breitbart.com is an unabashedly conservative Web empire founded by right-wing firebrand Andrew Breitbart, who died unexpectedly of heart failure on March 1 at age 43.
Since then, a coterie of friends of the company’s late namesake has continued to run the company, most recently hiring a raft of conservative bloggers and reporters that included former Washington Times staffer Kerry Picket and former Daily Caller reporter Matthew Boyle.
Loesch is also a political contributor to CNN. The network pulled her off the air for several weeks this year, reportedly as a response to an incendiary comment she made on her radio show.
Reacting in January 2012 to an online video that showed four U.S. Marines urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban fighters, Loesch asked, “Can someone explain to me if there’s supposed to be a scandal that someone pees on the corpse of a Taliban fighter? Someone who, as part of an organization, murdered over 3,000 Americans?”
“I’d drop trou and do it too. That’s me, though,” she continued. “I want a million cool points for these guys. Is that harsh to say? Come on people, this is a war. What do you think this is?”
Neither Loesch nor Breitbart.com editor-in-chief Joel Pollak immediately responded to emails seeking comment.