Steven Bannon

Steven Bannon, of Breitbart News and now the presumptive Trump Administration, has been covered by media like a “cloven-hoofed devil,” as he puts it. I know almost nothing about him, but it seems fair to let him speak for himself, which he does at length in a Saturday Wall Street Journal profile. (There’s a pay wall, I assume, but since it magically disappears for me I’m not positive.)

Why does he think that leftists are so fixated on him? “They were ready to coronate Hillary Clinton. That didn’t happen, and I’m one of the reasons why. So, by the way, I wear these attacks as an emblem of pride.”

He acknowledges that the site is “edgy” but insists it is “vibrant.” He offers his own definition of the alt-right movement and explains how he sees it fitting into Breitbart. “Our definition of the alt-right is younger people who are anti-globalists, very nationalist, terribly anti-establishment.”

But he says Breitbart is also a platform for “libertarians,” Zionists, “the conservative gay community,” “proponents of restrictions on gay marriage,” “economic nationalism” and “populism” and “the anti-establishment.” In other words, the site hosts many views. “We provide an outlet for 10 or 12 or 15 lines of thought—we set it up that way” and the alt-right is “a tiny part of that.” Yes, he concedes, the alt-right has “some racial and anti-Semitic overtones.” He makes clear he has zero tolerance for such views.

It seems to me that he pretty well puts to rest the anti-semitism charge for one (his corroboration carries a lot more weight than an unsupported allegation by an ex-wife, it seems to me), but judge for yourself.

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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.