In a sane society, Thursday's damning report from Buzzfeed would be the end of Steve Bannon as a face on cable news and in the mainstream press. The report, ironically relying on a large number of leaked emails, details how Steve Bannon, at the behest of the billionaire Mercer family, used alt-right media personality/professional asshole Milo Yiannopoulos to corral and channel neo-Nazis and white nationalists of various stripes through Breitbart.com to become a powerful and violent political force to elect Donald Trump.
In other words, after years of loudly insisting that Breitbart rejected the KKK, neo-Nazis, their fellow monsters and the violence that follows inevitably them, it turns out that Bannon was explicitly building them into weapon to be used against American democracy. Buzzfeed's article is comprehensive and lays bare just how deeply supportive Bannon is of the white nationalist movement. Which, of course, means that he will become a persona non gratis in the mainstream media, right? Right?
Again, in a sane society, this would be without question. One does not lay down with neo-Nazis and then get an interview with Chuck Todd as a credible voice for conservative politics.
But America left sane in the rear view mirror a very long time ago and hasn't looked back since. You can bet your bottom dollar that Chuck Todd will absolutely have Steve Bannon on as a guest at some point in the not too distant future and there will be little to no discussion about the Buzzfeed story. Same thing with half a dozen other "Serious Journalists" whose main strength as a reporter is "not asking tough questions of right wingers. Ever."
That, however, does not mean we shouldn't ask the Serious People the tough questions at every opportunity. Now that Bannon stands completely revealed as not just a Nazi sympathizer but a literal Nazi organizer, every network and reporter than engages with him must be forced to answer the following questions:
1. Why are you collaborating with a known Nazi sympathizer?
2. Are you, yourself, a Nazi sympathizer?
3. Are you planning to aggressively address the fact that Bannon organized America's white nationalist movement? Why haven't you done this already and what does that decision have to do with your Nazi sympathies?
4. At what point did you decide to normalize white nationalism and was that decision related to your Nazi sympathies?
There's a lot more where those came from but you get the general idea. The media completely and utterly failed to do its job during the 2016 election by normalizing Trump's dangerously abnormal behavior. Subsequently, they were an enormous part of the reason he's currently in the White House, destabilizing our laws, our democracy, our society, our economy and the entire planet. If they continue their decades-long pattern of normalizing the right no matter how extreme they get, they will overlook Steve Bannon's direct leadership of the white nationalist movement and that will be suicidal for the planet.
This is a man who is looking to take over the Republican Party and replace it with Breitbart-sympathetic white nationalists. Not figuratively, literally. By treating Bannon like any other political strategist, they give him credibility and legitimacy and that, in turn, gives it to his violent and genocidal ideology. Once the extreme is credible and legitimate, it's no longer extreme and as far as the Chuck Todds and Chris Cillizzas of the press are concerned, Bernie Sanders is now "just as bad" as Republicans that salutes a Nazi flag. These are the same people that told America that Bernie and Trump were two sides of the same coin with a straight face. Their "both sides" nonsense knows no bounds.
The Nazis lost because they didn't have the resources to defeat the Allies. The United States, on the other hand, is the richest, most powerful nation on the planet with a military unlike anything imagined in Hitler's wildest dreams. Imagine putting that power in the hands of people who literally believe that only certain types of white people should be allowed to exist.
If that sounds alarmist, have you seriously not been paying attention?
When did the American press start collaborating with known Nazi sympathizers? When Buzzfeed burned their fig leaf of an excuse and we said nothing when they kept talking to Steve Bannon anyway. If they insist on having them on their shows, those shows and their hosts have to be called out as collaborating with Nazis, pure and simple. Bannon is toxic to everything decent in this country and it's about time the press started acting like it.
There are 29 days left to the the 2017 elections.
There are 393 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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