No, Steve Bannon should not speak at your journalism conference. Here's why.


Liberals cannot resist the chance to publicly debate someone into the ground someone with bad ideas formed on bad information.

We saw it with the presidential debates. Clinton had facts on her side, Trump was caught off guard but maintained a tough stance and talked over her a lot. Both sides thought they won.

There is two sets of rules in play for “winning” a debate. Liberal media needs to realize this and deplatform.



Exactly. The typical conservative/Libertarian approach is to treat every debate like the high school version, where fallacious arguments and misrepresentations are allowed if they’re sneaky enough to get past (or impress) the judges. During the GOP primary debates it was very evident that Ted Cruz, one of the many bitter HS debate club nerds in the GOP, was trying to play to the moderators as if they were judges.

Bannon goes a step further, though, because like all fascists he’s not interested in a good-faith debate at all. Liberals and progressives, especially the privileged and polite bien pensant ones at The New Yorker, NYT, The Economist, NPR, etc. need to internalise this.



why not listen to him? Doesn’t he also deserve to earn a living? I’d listen to you if I could. Fair is fair






Nobody “deserves” to earn a living spouting racist propaganda. They need find a less hateful and destructive way to earn a living.



I’m going to assume you’re being facetious here, but for those who don’t get your joke:

  1. Because he’s a fascist and bigot who’s telling us nothing we haven’t heard before from other fascists and bigots.

  2. No, no-one deserves the ability to earn a living (which is different from deserving the right to shelter, food, healthcare, etc.).

  3. You are listening to us!

Also, for those new users arriving here to blow our minds with your unique takes on free speech, please save yourself some effort by reviewing this topic before sharing your view here:



“To use a favourite phrase of Bannon himself, interviewing him is a perverse form of virtue signalling. To indulge him is an egotistical misreading of freedom of speech. It is about boasting liberal commitment to the value, rather than engaging with the evils that hide behind it.”

“White supremacy, banning Muslims from entering countries and fascist flirtations are tangible issues for those not cushioned by the comforts of being of the correct race, religion or skin colour. They are not ideas that need to be “exposed”, or interrogated, or challenged. They are simply to be fought.”

ETA: @‘ing @Kenneth_Wilkinson & @kizontije. You should read it in good faith and try to comprehend the salient points that someone who has survived genocide brings.






In other words they’re ignoring or haven’t heard of Popper’s Paradox of Tolerance:



Fixed your spelling errors.



What value would this bring, specifically? Do you think he or his adherents would ever experience a change of heart? Seriously?



He should show some self reliance and start his own platform.

It’s not like he’s starving. Poor dear. Already very wealthy- and funded by billionaires for his hobby to dismantle America.



This ass can afford to buy national tv ads to spread his filth - he doesn’t need to be given a spot on anyone’s platform.

“ A 30-second spot broadcast nationally averaged around $123,000 as of 2016”



He’ll never tell you what he actually believes. Let me summarize his philosophy for you:

  • He believes he is superior to you in every way.
  • Things like “society” and “government” exist to protect the weak.
  • If chaos is introduced into the system, superior people such as himself will naturally find their place at the top.


True, but remember that in addition to being a fascist he’s also a sleazeball producer.

Max [patiently]: The two cardinal rules of producing are, one: Never put your own money in the show.

Leo: And two?

Max [yelling in Leo’s ear]: NEVER PUT YOUR OWN MONEY IN THE SHOW!!!



And all they left were crickets.



Surely that’s not the goal of inviting him.

Bannon knows a thing or two about finding and connecting with an audience. If he was invited to talk about the business of journalism as he sees it, there could be a lot to learn.

The New Yorker and Economist have done a terrible job reaching middle America. If that’s something they want to change Bannon is somebody that might be worth listening to.



The goal was selling tickets. Off-line clickbait. And also naive liberal virtue signalling per the Grauniad article posted above (seriously, read it).

Not really, because (again) he wouldn’t be presenting such a discussion in good faith. There’s been plenty of insightful analysis and criticism of the business of journalism as he practises it, much of it drawing on the history of right-wing populist propaganda or on current SEO and PR practises.

Plenty of people in the Midwest read and subscribe to those publications.

The historical parallel here isn’t censorship in Nazi Germany, when a counter-argument would get one imprisoned or killed. The parallel is to Weimar, when too few liberals and establishment conservatives understood the dangers of lending fascists the credibility of their platforms. Which history is being repeated now.



So journalism should learn to adopt the same disingenuous rhetorical techniques he uses to deceive millions? That will serve them well.




There is nothing to be gained: decent people already oppose Bannon’s ethnofascism, Nazis gonna Nazi, and Regressive Conservatives value their tribe more than moral justice.

Edit to add:
People arguing to platform Nazis are literally those who would lose nothing if Nazis had more power. Targets of nazis are saying to deplatform, fucking listen to them. People, ain’t nobody be worse off if society just doesn’t give Nazis a platform.