In a tenure bracketed by controversy, ESSENCE Magazine’s White managing editor was asked to leave the publication April 20 after his right-wing Facebook posts were brought to the editors’ attention.
Michael Bullerdick’s departure for the book division of Time Warner, the conglomerate that owns Essence, was first announced by “Journal-isms,” a news site run by Richard Prince of the Maynard Institute. The news site was also responsible for sending screen shots of Bullerdick’s Facebook page to Essence editors after a reader provided the material.
“Essence readers would be shocked to find that Bullerdick, who under the prodding of Time Inc. became the first white male editor at the magazine last year, openly espouses extremist Right-wing views that run counter to what Essence has historically stood for,” Journal-isms reported the reader as saying in an e-mail.
According to Prince, in one screen shot, an April 10 posting is headlined, “No Voter Fraud, Mr. Attorney General?” espousing a video by James O’Keefe, the conservative activist who worked with right-wing lightning rod Andrew Breitbart. The same day, Bullerdick shared a photo illustration of Al Sharpton headlined, “MSNBC Race Pimp.” Bullerdick also recommends material from the conservative magazine Human Events and the right-wing website townhall.com.
“As editor-in-chief, I’m responsible for all editorial content for Essence. I hired Michael to manage the production schedule of Essence. As head of production, he does not attend editorial idea meetings, nor does he get involved in the editorial direction of the magazine,” Editor-in-chief Constance C.R. White, via a spokeswoman, told Journal-isms on Friday. Later, however, the spokeswoman said, “By mutual agreement, Michael has accepted a position in another division.”
No successor to Bullerdick has been named.