Steve Bannon to headline The New Yorker's festival (UPDATE: disinvited)

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/03/steve-bannon-to-headline-the-n.html

8 Likes

“So, Trump personally opined that you always looked like shit, gave you a series of demeaning nicknames, and told the public that you were an inconsequential part of his team who had nothing to do with his victory. He also announced you lost your mind and cried when you were fired. So my question is: How little fucking self-respect must you possess to continue to go to bat for this man?”

42 Likes

There are obvious dangers to reducing the mentality of this too far, but it comes down to this: America’s elites consider themselves the gracious hosts of everyone else.

The time is long past when we should hesitate to make the obvious comparisons. This is like a prominent Berlin cultural society in 1930 making Josef Goebbels its headliner for a “difficult, engaging, serious, and even combative” Q&A with a refined, polite and educated editor or academic. Right-wing intellectual thugs like Bannon are by their very nature not interested in a good-faith discussion, however clever their interlocutors think they are.

Remnick should know better than to do this, especially given his subject-area expertise in post-Soviet Russia and his magazine’s coverage of the alt-right and the regime it supports. Bannon has just gotten back from attempting to spread his brand of bigoted right-wing populism and nationalism throughout Europe and now he’s being given this platform? I’ll say it again: no quarter for fascists, no excuses for those who wittingly or unwittingly vote for, support, or enable them.

ETA: Zadie Smith, Gary Shteyngart, Esther Perel, Masha and Keith Gessen, Janet Mock, Emily Blunt, Christine Baranski, Boots Riley, Timothy Spall, Mike Birbiglia, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Patton Oswalt, Adam Schiff, Sally Yates: if any of you are reading please re-consider lending your considerable cachet without question to a platform that would give any credibility to this enemy of liberal democracy and his repulsive and long-discredited ideas.

In related news about white guys giving Nazis (or, as polite journalists might call them, “alt-right provocateurs”) platforms:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/inside-twitters-long-slow-struggle-to-police-bad-actors-1535972402

Last month, after Twitter’s controversial decision to allow conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to remain on its platform, Mr. Dorsey told one person that he had overruled a decision by his staff to kick Mr. Jones off, according to a person familiar with the discussion. Twitter disputes that account and says Mr. Dorsey wasn’t involved in those discussions.

[…]

A similar chain of events unfolded in November 2016, when the firm’s trust and safety team kicked alt-right provocateur Richard Spencer off the platform, saying he was operating too many accounts. Mr. Dorsey, who wasn’t involved in the initial discussions, told his team that Mr. Spencer should be allowed to keep one account and stay on the site, according to a person directly involved in the discussions.

27 Likes

I read that Michael Avenatti is going to be there also. Maybe The New Yorker could arrange a discussion between the two.

6 Likes

Blimey, Beschizza; you could have done something about those terrible eyes!

11 Likes

For once, the reality is as bad as it gets

21 Likes

“I have every intention of asking him difficult questions and engaging in a serious and even combative conversation,”

Probable outcome:
BN-SP12SC-40-300

25 Likes

Yes, this.

Bannon does not need another megaphone. The argument that we must keep a dialogue open so that we can understand the battlefield terrain is bankrupt, because the details of Bannon’s views are irrelevant when he has made his goals so clear. No quarter should be given to ethnic nationalists or xtian crusaders. Consign him to the dung heap of history and let him rot in obscurity.

Edited for grammar.

29 Likes

This, right back atcha. There is nothing new to learn about Bannon or his noxious views for the kind of people who read The New Yorker or Remnick’s books. This is nothing more than an attempt to grab attention for the festival with a freakshow exhibit featuring a political atavism, a spectacle that the liberal chattering classes may have been able afford to gawk at only a decade ago but can’t now.

15 Likes

I hope someone punches Bannon in the face during the event, and that wild cheers are the general response.

9 Likes

This is really disheartening. I had thought that the more intelligent of our elites, who really have been educated in the best institutions and know human history would at least try to avoid the obvious mistakes of the past. This is just an unbelievably stupid move. Bannon was fading; the New Yorker, a prestigious part of mainstream democracy, is throwing him a life saver – and for what? The satisfaction of bothsiderism? Do they suppose they’ll pick up some ticket sales from fascists that wouldn’t otherwise attend?

18 Likes

Maybe Remnick is planning to punch him.

4 Likes

Whatever happened to “Don’t feed the trolls”?

24 Likes

Right, let alone pay them, which the NYer is likely to do with Bannon.

I dearly hope there’s some significant backlash over this.

Maybe the magazine is anticipating a protest and news coverage, which would “alert more people to the existence of our magazine! No publicity is bad publicity, etc., etc.”

Whatever the rationalization, fuck giving this pig a platform.

17 Likes

David “Platforming” Remnick

I know, I don’t have @beschizza’s mad skills, but you get the idea.

ETA: sp

13 Likes
7 Likes

Cancelling my subscription.
And, yeah, this:

gracchusBBS Captain

Zadie Smith, Gary Shteyngart, Esther Perel, Masha and Keith Gessen, Janet Mock, Emily Blunt, Christine Baranski, Boots Riley, Timothy Spall, Mike Birbiglia, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Patton Oswalt, Adam Schiff, Sally Yates: if any of you are reading please re-consider lending your considerable cachet without question to a platform that would give any credibility to this enemy of liberal democracy and his repulsive and long-discredited ideas.

12 Likes

I kind of feel this comparison is unfair to Goebbels. He was, I think, both more competent and more cultured than Bannon, and certainly would have been a more interesting guest.

2 Likes

You can’t make me look!

12 Likes

I wonder if at some level these guys are thinking “If I had been one of the journalists to interview Hitler in the early 1930s I bet I could have averted the Holocaust.”

12 Likes