November 20, 2016


For Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, fiery populism followed life in elite circles (Matea Gold, Rosalind S. Helderman, Gregory S. Schneider and Frances Stead Sellers, November 19, 2016, Washington Post)

He gave regular airtime to Milo Yiannopoulos, who was banned from Twitter after cheering on supporters who barraged "Ghostbusters" actor Leslie Jones with racist and sexist tweets. Bannon described an anti-Islamic activist who campaigns against what she calls "creeping sharia" in the United States as "a voice in the wilderness." A former Heritage Foundation staffer who had argued that Hispanic immigrants have lower IQs was "one of the smartest brains out there in demographics, demography, this whole issue of immigration," Bannon said.

From his perch as chief of the Breitbart News empire, which produced the satellite radio show, Bannon cemented his role as a champion of the alt-right, an anti-globalism movement that has attracted support from white supremacists and helped power Donald Trump's populist White House victory. [...]

Although Bannon and those close to him have said he is not racist, he has nonetheless shown a willingness to accommodate "fringe organizations," as he described the extremists attracted to populism in a 2014 address unearthed by BuzzFeed. Eventually, those elements would fall away, he assured the audience: "Over time, it all gets kind of washed out, right?"

Under Bannon's hand, Breitbart articles offered dire warnings of the threats posed by immigrants. Bannon's radio show provided a steady diet of apocalyptic warnings about radical Islam's rise, asserting that Europe had been subject to a "quasi-invasion." Breitbart stories ridiculed feminists, and Bannon once angrily denounced a female colleague as a "bimbo" in the 1990s, according to court records. An ex-wife's allegations that Bannon said he did not want his children to attend school with Jews -- comments he denied making -- have spurred accusations that he is anti-Semitic. [...]

For Bannon, the mission is to ignite a broader populist movement -- even if that means tolerating extremist viewpoints, associates say.

"He is not a racist," said Julia Jones, a self-described "Bernie Sanders liberal" who was Bannon's screenwriting partner for 16 years. "I think he is using the alt-right for political purposes." [...]

He said his approach was influenced by liberal filmmaker Michael Moore and Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl.

Posted by at November 20, 2016 2:02 PM