The depth of gay button-pusher Milo Yiannopoulos’s insidious involvement with Breitbart and the alt-right was excavated in an exposé on BuzzFeed Thursday, and one of the more startling revelations to come from the detailed piece by Joseph Bernstein is that out gay writer Mitchell Sunderland, a senior staff writer at Vice’s site for women, Broadly, was complicit with Yiannopoulos in terrorizing women.
“Please mock this fat feminist,” Sunderland, formerly Broadly’s managing editor, wrote to Yiannopoulos in May 2016 with a link to a story that activist Lindy West had written about fat acceptance for The New York Times, according to the BuzzFeed piece.
Sunderland is described as one of Yiannopoulos’s liberals on the inside, offering tips on stories about women posted on Broadly that were ripe for Breitbart to eviscerate.
While acting as managing editor for Vice’s site that purports to be, according to its “about” page, “devoted to representing the multiplicity of women's experiences,” Sunderland tipped off Yiannopoulos’s contemporary Tim Gionet, renowned for his anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi tweets, to a Broadly video about the Satanic Temple and abortion rights, which resulted in a Breitbart response the next day titled “Satanic Temple Joins Planned Parenthood in Pro-Abortion Crusade,” according to BuzzFeed.
A Vice spokesperson wrote BuzzFeed in a statement saying, "We are shocked and disappointed by this highly inappropriate and unprofessional conduct. We just learned about this and have begun a formal review into the matter."
The revelation isn't entirely contradictory to Sunderland's public tweets. Just three days before he was exposed, Sunderland tweeted about the uproar over Yiannopoulos’s book, seeming to downplay it. On September 29, he wrote a snarky tweet about Lena Dunham wanting to adapt Hillary Clinton’s memoir, and he lauded Hugh Hefner as a champion of women. His tweets about Yiannopoulos, who is a proud misogynist, were largely free of condemnation. What was subtle is now more suspect.
As of Friday morning, Sunderland had been fired from Vice, according to BuzzFeed. Response to Sunderland’s being exposed as an anti-feminist interloper on Vice’s site for women has been swift on social media.
My brilliant friend Lindy West left twitter in part bc she got tired of trying to warn other media people about everything in that piece.
— Amelia Bonow (@ameliabonow) October 6, 2017
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) October 5, 2017
— Gennette Cordova (@GNCordova) October 5, 2017
I don’t mean to be petty but I’m totally here for the “Mitchell Sunderland is over” party.
— M. Mayhem (@MsMaggieMayhem) October 5, 2017
i really want to know how mitchell sunderland got to be managing editor of broadly when his friendship with milo was pretty open
— libby watson (@libbycwatson) October 6, 2017
— witcholas skullins (@nicholasfukc) October 5, 2017
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) October 6, 2017
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) October 5, 2017