Essence magazine and its white male managing editor — whom the leading magazine for black women has emphasized had a production, not an editorial role — are parting ways, a spokeswoman told Journal-isms Friday, after right-wing material on his Facebook page was brought to the editors' attention.
The hiring of Michael Bullerdick last July created an uproar, partly because the title of "managing editor" implied to many a major role for a white man in the editorial process of a magazine for black women.
In his LinkedIn profile, Bullerdick lists "Edit stories for tone and style" among his duties, even though editor-in-chief Constance C.R. White insisted when he was hired, "Michael is responsible for production and operational workflow. He has no involvement in editorial content."
The announcement of Bullerdick's departure for the book division of Time Warner, the conglomerate that owns Essence, came after Journal-isms shared screen shots of Bullerdick's Facebook page taken by a reader.
"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," the Journal-isms reader wrote in an email.
In one screen shot, an April 10 posting is headlined, "No Voter Fraud, Mr. Attorney General?" touting a video by James O'Keefe, the conservative activist who worked with right-wing trickster 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, from which Bullerdick posted "the Frequent Bomber Program," an article about 1960s radical Bill Ayers. Bullerdick wrote, "Obama's mentor and friend."