Today’s reading: Technology editor defends interviewing Bannon

This op-ed is in today’s New York Times, and recounts how author Kara Swisher, described as “editor at large for the technology news website Recode and producer of the Recode Decode podcast and Code Conference”, wanted to interview Steve Bannon at a “Code Conference” on technology.

She didn’t get to—and for the same reason David Remnick, the invertebrate editor of The New Yorker, rescinded Bannon’s invitation to the New Yorker Festival (see here and here): bowing to social pressure.

I have to say that I’m disappointed at those readers who thought Remnick’s deplatforming of Bannon, who had already been invited to the Festival, was just peachy.

It wasn’t. I suspect that many of us, and that includes me, don’t have a full understanding of what Bannon’s views actually are. I, for one, know just a bit about him—enough to know that our politics are opposed—but I’d like to know more. An interview with Remnick, put on video, would have been instructive, as Remnick is implacably opposed to Bannon’s ideology.

We cannot put ourselves in the position that others shouldn’t be allowed to hear someone like Bannon, or that he shouldn’t be given a platform to speak, because he’s a reprehensible man with reprehensible views. How will people know that unless he is allowed to speak. And he will be, this fall, at the University of Chicago. I might even go if I’m in town.

The op-ed:

An excerpt (my emphasis):

[Bannon] is clearly aiming at the heart of Silicon Valley and is most definitely influencing Mr. Trump and those in power with the idea that it needs to be brought to heel. Members of Congress have recently called for antitrust investigations against big tech, and the Justice Department has announced that it will look into the bias allegations. This is dangerous stuff, and I can’t agree with the people who argue that it’s worthless to talk to Mr. Bannon because we already know what he thinks.

Even in these awful times, questions posed directly to the source are worthwhile, especially because you need to unmask bad actors again and again. I often use as my journalism motto the first lines of a poem by Louise Glück (which, it’s worth noting, was originally published in The New Yorker): “I never turned anyone into a pig. / Some people are pigs; I make them / look like pigs.”

Mr. Bannon’s squeal has a real-world impact, and we can’t make him go away by not looking at him. In that vein, Mr. Morris added one more thing to his explanation about why he went ahead with the Bannon documentary, despite the wrenching compromises he was making: “If I’ve done anything to help us understand who he is — I don’t want to go overboard here, but I think it’s an important service. It’s part of what journalism should be doing.”

What he said. Oink.

On to Monterey, the aquarium, and then points south on Route 1.

 

58 Comments

  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Props to the NYT for publishing Ms. Swisher’s op-ed piece.

    Interesting to see that celebrated documentary filmmaker Errol Morris (Thin Blue Line, Fog of War) just made a doc on Bannon, American Dharma.

    • BJ
      Posted September 8, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Speaking of film, I saw Three Billboards and First Reformed a few weeks ago, and was not terribly impressed with either (please don’t hurt me!).

      I found Three Billboards to have many problems. (1) I think the film is a tonal mess. (2) Most of the comedy fell flat for me. (3) I found a lot of the dialogue extremely grating, as if it was written by someone whose ideas of poor southerners have been gleaned exclusively from stand-up comedians doing impressions of them. Don’t get me wrong: I didn’t think the film was bad, but I thought it was middling and, considering the critical reception it received and the fact that it was from Martin McDonagh, that made it feel far more disappointing. There were strokes of brilliance, like the message of the movie being delivered by the airhead 19-year-old girlfriend of Mildred’s ex-husband.

      I thought First Reformed was…pretty good? I really don’t have much more to say about it. I guess my question is why you consider it to be brilliant, and I ask that with genuine curiosity.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 8, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        You’re a tough crowd, BJ. I don’t think First Reformed is brilliant; I simply think it’s the best of the bunch in what’s been a fairly thin year for American movies. I thought the third reel was weaker than the first two, with its sudden foray into magical realism, but the overall story, and its execution, was something I hadn’t seen before, which is something I’m always looking for.

        And we’ll just have to disagree on Three Billboards. I’d put it right below McDonagh’s first cinematic outing of In Bruges, but above his second, Seven Psychopaths. All three have a place among my favorite films.

        • BJ
          Posted September 8, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          I certainly admit to being a tough crowd, but I’d be interested in you elaborating on Three Billboards.

          When you told me that you thought First Reformed was the best movie you saw this year, I assumed you thought it brilliant. I hadn’t considered the dearth of quality cinema. Anyway, I enjoyed it enough, and I will agree that it was unique. A good portion of the dialogue just didn’t sound right to me and, while that normally wouldn’t be an enormous issue, it seemed like the movie was going for a cinema verite style from which the dialogue sometimes detracted and distracted. It was certainly unique and managed to hold my attention, and I didn’t mind the scene where they…um…meditated (?) and it led to that dreamlike journey through the universe. I thought that scene was an interesting deviation, and a brave one.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 8, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            That “dreamlike journey” immediately made me think of the dream sequence from The Big Lebowski, which (as you might imagine) took me right out of the Schrader’s story. 🙂

            And it wasn’t just the one sequence; the movie’s tone changed distinctly from then on, I thought.

            I’ll have to assemble my thoughts to make the case for Three Billboards, since it’s been a bit since last I saw it.

            • BJ
              Posted September 8, 2018 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

              Oh, that scene absolutely took me out of the movie (and I, too, was reminded of Lebowski), but I figured that was the point, as it was taking Hawke’s character out of his own head and the small world of walls he had intentionally built around himself. I agree that the third act was jarring, even silly, and I also saw it coming from a mile away. Oh, and that funeral scene where they sang that awful protest song made me cringe.

  2. Posted September 8, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Although my default is to let someone speak so we can understand and perhaps counter their ideas, there is a discussion to be had when considering people like Bannon. I suspect you would not be in favor of giving talk show conspiracy theorist Alex Jones a platform. Bannon has famously said that Trump has never lied, adding “Not to my knowledge.” How serious should someone like that be taken? Where do you draw the line? One could argue that his importance is due to his influence over Trump who is our president but when does that ticket expire?

    • max blancke
      Posted September 8, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      I don’t think we should even be discussing whether we should “let someone speak” or not. Who is “we” anyway? From the articles cited, this seems to be driven mostly by the people who find it fashionable to call everyone they dislike a fascist. That is not a “we” that I want to be part of, or that I want deciding when or if any of us can speak.

      I am not a fan of Bannon, and I have never listened to Alex Jones. But any mechanism that keeps them from speaking will inevitably be used to silence you and I.

      • Posted September 8, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        The context was whether Bannon should be given a platform, such as an interview by a journalist. I should have said “give them a platform”. I was not talking about restricting their freedom of speech.

        • max blancke
          Posted September 8, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

          I understand the distinction, and I think, the context you were using.
          The whole issue of “deplatforming” does not seem the be the same as an organization declining to publish an interview or sponsor a speaking engagement. It is more about groups targeting an individual, and relentlessly pressuring anyone who might provide a platform to withdraw that support, often under threat.
          My quarrel is not so much with the conference organizers or webhosts who bow to the pressure and threats, it is those organizing to exert that pressure.

          I am struggling to find a historical precedent or analogy for this, and how it might relate to the 1st amendment. The best I have come up with is if a political group were to try to keep a newspaper from publishing content that the group disapproved of, and stopped the publication by stopping their access to ink or paper by threatening all the suppliers of those commodities with violence or boycott, should they sell to the publisher. Or doing the same with any vendor who might wish to sell the paper, or even give it away.

          I am not addressing any of Bannon’s views, of which I know relatively little. I have to assume this is not about him making actionable threats or inciting others to violence, or that could be addressed through prosecution or litigation.

          Sorry for the run-on sentences, English is not my first language.

          • Posted September 9, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

            Yes, I agree with that. Those threatening to leave the event because Bannon was invited are wrong to do so. They are unfairly taking advantage of their situation. They’ve already signed on to appear, advertising dollars have been spent, and there’s not enough time to replace them. And why should they get a say in who the New Yorker chooses to invite? They are following the current custom of attempting to deplatform unfavored speakers but are much worse. On the other hand, perhaps it is better to protest before the event than to shout the speaker down at the event.

            • max blancke
              Posted September 9, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

              Maybe we should also discourage people from shouting down speakers with whom they disagree.
              I think it is also worth noting that the people who threatened to withdraw were not scheduled to interact with Bannon, or necessarily share a particular venue with him. And the people exerting force from outside the event could decide not to attend.
              After I made my initial post, I did look a little at why Bannon is so controversial. He does not seem the be the sort of person I would want to be around. But most of what I have read are vitriolic accusations of fascism and other isms. I cannot make any real objective evaluation without spending more time reading the source material. There is a lot of “Bannon said X, which is a code for Y”. Which might well be accurate.
              However, the best way to resolve those questions might be for him to respond to unscripted questions by a knowledgeable interviewer or debate opponent.
              I also remain unconvinced that the people with the strongest views on him have any more specific knowledge of his motives and beliefs than I do, which is minimal.
              Sadly, you can no longer assume that someone has offensive views just because they are being constantly called a fascist or labeled with similar invectives.

              I read a few days ago that “In the future, everyone will be Hitler for 15 minutes”.

              But that would not preclude actual fascism from existing. It would just make it harder to recognize.

              • Posted September 9, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

                I can’t say I know Bannon well but I have some picture of what he’s about. He seems to be motivated by a desire to destroy globalization by messing with institutions wherever possible. It isn’t hard to see how he and Trump would see eye to eye on a lot of things. I don’t see any kind of strong analysis behind Bannon’s thinking other than “I would like to break X and I can see a way to do it.”

        • Posted September 8, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          Yes, you are talking about restricting their speech. You said your “default” was to “let someone speak” but that perhaps with Bannon it’s different. Different means not letting that someone speak. It’s perfectly unambiguous.

          • Posted September 9, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

            The whole thread is about someone organizing an event who chose to give Bannon a platform. Of course you are free to misinterpret anything I say.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 8, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        This isn’t about “let[ting] someone speak”; it’s about inviting someone to a forum with a limited number of speaking slots available. A valid argument can be had over whether The New Yorker shindig was the appropriate venue to which to invite someone like Steve Bannon. But once he was invited, David Remnick shouldn’t have caved by rescinding his invitation in response to public pressure.

        There’s no question here whether Steve Bannon or Alex Jones or any other whack-job should have the right to pull up a soapbox and declaim like anyone else from the equivalent of Speakers’ Corner.

        • Posted September 9, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          I would agree with you if it was only a matter of “public pressure” but if other speakers are saying they’ll pull out of the event, it is a different kettle of fish.

    • BJ
      Posted September 8, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Do we have to take someone seriously in order to let them speak in an interview or debate? By this logic, nobody should debate flat earthers, creationists, etc.

      And yes, Alex Jones should be interviewed. Every time I’ve seen him interviewed by a major media organization, he has come off like an absolute loon. That’s one of the benefits of interviewing and debating loons. Moreover, as we have seen again and again and again, trying to refuse people like Jones a platform doesn’t suppress their message, it spreads it via the Streisand Effect. It’s absolutely baffling to me that people still don’t understand the Streisand Effect and its consequences.

      How long would the public have been talking about Steve Bannon vis-à-vis this event if he hadn’t been deplatformed? Not nearly as long as we’ve already been talking about him since it happened, and will continue to talk about him until the fervor from this shitshow dies down.

      Like the people who commit violence every time Milo Yiannopoulos shows up, sanctimonious lefties have once again handed one of the nastiest people around yet another public victory.

      • Posted September 9, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        That’s fine. You’ve convinced me. But my point was that there’s still a judgement to be made. Perhaps the choice to give Bannon a platform boils down to whether he’s the best on offer. His slot could perhaps be taken by someone with more interesting ideas. Sure, Bannon has a lot of ideas worth countering but we’re never short of bad ideas and speakers to promote them.

        • BJ
          Posted September 9, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          I agree that they never had to invite him in the first place; hell, how stupid were they if they didn’t expect this response? They put themselves in this position.

          By the way, when I said “It’s absolutely baffling to me that people still don’t understand the Streisand Effect and its consequences,” I was speaking generally and not about you. Media outlets, corporations, celebrities, etc. We constantly see public figures and entities make this mistake again and again and I simply cannot fathom how they haven’t caught onto the pattern yet.

          • Posted September 9, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

            No offense taken. Perhaps those that ignore the Streisand Effect are thinking “All press is good press.” Of course, both ideas don’t come with guarantees. Some idea suppression works and sometimes people are taken down by bad press.

    • Posted September 8, 2018 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      “Where do you draw the line?” Line drawing requires a line drawer. I don’t trust any of them. The rest of your comments suggest your own willingness to draw lines for my benefit. No thank you. I don’t pretend to be able to draw lines for you, and I don’t accept you drawing any for me.

      • Posted September 9, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Huh? The line drawers in question are those that make choices of speakers to invite to events they control. My opinion is simply that and not an attempt to make anyone do anything beyond the force of my ideas. And I was not offering my line drawing services to you.

    • Posted September 9, 2018 at 4:17 am | Permalink

      I suspect you would not be in favor of giving talk show conspiracy theorist Alex Jones a platform.

      Yes, why not? Get the right interviewer and he will be laughed off stage.

      Why are you so frightened of people with whom you disagree?

      Bannon has famously said that Trump has never lied, adding “Not to my knowledge.” How serious should someone like that be taken?

      The regressive left clearly take him very seriously. Otherwise, why do they keep trying to stop him from speaking?

      • Posted September 9, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        I would agree if there was some hard hitting interviewer doing the questioning. Even Fareed Zakaria, who I like a lot, interviewed Bannon in Italy recently without really challenging him. Now I realize that Zakaria felt that Bannon advising Italian politicians was newsworthy, and it was, and it is not Zakaria’s style to do the challenging. It would have been more interesting if he could have had Bannon on one of his panels where someone could perhaps counter his ideas.

    • Posted September 10, 2018 at 5:47 am | Permalink

      I think there is a crucial difference between “giving a platform” (which could be just uncritcially hosting his website, say) and “engaging in debate”. If we are unwilling to engage someone in debate then civil discourse has (almosty by definition) broken down and the next step is uncvil discourse, or civil war. Those things do happen, and may even be morally demanded in some circumstances…but–are we there yet?
      Are we in a position where we have no champions who can take on Bannon, excoriate his ghastly views after forensically taking them to bits, and leave him publicly beaten? If we do not–then we are in real trouble.

      • Posted September 10, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        I agree with all that but I still wonder if Bannon is worth engaging at this point. Fareed Zakaria suggests that liberals should listen to what he has to say so there’s that. His relevance should be an issue. Bannon’s recent focus has been on Italian politics. I don’t particularly want to hear about what he’s trying to do in Europe.

  3. max blancke
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I have an issue with those who feel like the primary issue here is whether this is ok because he is on the “other” side.
    To me, the bigger issue is the precedent set by these sort of platforming tactics.

    Most of us realize that once it becomes clear that the opponent has stopped playing by the rules,they no longer apply. Assuming that the conservatives would never use these same tactics when the power dynamics shift a little is folly.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 8, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Yet Bannon has said that Trump almost certainly knew about the June 2016 Russian collusion meeting at Trump Tower (which Bannon himself has characterized as Trump Junior’s “treason meeting”), and has said the Trump likely even met with the Russians while they were there — all of which Donald Trump himself has denied.

      Bannon is also on record in Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury book (and has not denied telling Wolff) that Trump has engaged in many other acts Trump has denied. So Bannon has repeatedly accused Trump, at least implicitly, of repeatedly lying to the American people.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 8, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Sorry. This was meant in response to Paul Topping’s comment that Bannon has claimed Trump never lied.

      • Posted September 8, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Unless he was lying when he said that Trump was lying.

        But seriously, I suspect everyone in Trump’s circle lies with abandon. It is hard to give credence to anything they say.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 8, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          When the person at the top of an organization lies without compunction about pretty much everything, it’s difficult to expect anyone else within the organization to tell the truth.

          And Donald Trump is at the top of the organization known as the United States of America. May figurative Providence have metaphorical mercy on our symbolic souls!

  4. Mark Reaume
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Here is an interview with Bannon by Fareed Zakaria if you are interested: https://youtu.be/GYyKrRvfgc8?t=224

  5. Derek Freyberg
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Glad you’re enjoying Northern California, but it’s Monterey, not Monterrey – the latter is in Mexico.

  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Re: On to Monterrey, the aquarium, and then points south on Route 1.

    Only this past July was Hwy 1 from Carmel to Big Sur reopened after only 2 years of closure.

    Enjoy.

  7. notsecurelyanchored
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Well then, how about this case?
    https://quillette.com/2018/09/07/academic-activists-send-a-published-paper-down-the-memory-hole/

    • Posted September 8, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      This all sounds terrible and reflects badly on Robert Zimmer. Makes me imagine his famous policy doesn’t extend to friends of his. Are there any published responses from the other parties mentioned in this article?

    • Mikeyc
      Posted September 8, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Well, that was one side of a story. It seems plausible given the state of affairs in academia these days. But I think versions of this story from others will diverge significantly.

      • Posted September 10, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Assuming only one thing: that it was not a retraction with description of events, and a “disappearance”, then that’s enough to be appalling. The rest is just more (if it happened).

  8. Ed Hessler
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I want to hear what Bannon has to say. I’m glad to learn that Ms. Swisher’s op-ed was published. I was very sorry to learn that some New Yorker writers thought Bannon should be disinvited.

    Remnick put himself in a box, one he designed, when he made the decision to invite Bannon. It seems to have been without sufficient discussion about the implications to the event, one depending on ticket sales, I think. Remnick is a savvy guy and I would have thought the bottom line might have occurred to him. It sounds as though the whole event was put in jeopardy. And now he seems in some jeopardy (trust of some staff perhaps) with respect to his leadership of the magazine.

    I wish Remnick had considered doing an interview with Bannon for the New Yorker instead. He is a smart guy and a good interviewer. And Bannon does not mind being in another’s face or having one in his.

    I’m curious whether Bannon would consider an interview with Remnick if asked for either print or video.

  9. Caldwell
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Liberal activists get academic paper censored/unpublished:

    “At the Free Speech University [Chicago], it turns out, talk is cheap.”

    • BJ
      Posted September 8, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Holy shit! That’s not even a controversial theory, at least when it comes to the evidence; study after study has been done already.

      We’re now getting to a point where studies showing factual information must be suppressed because the information goes against the narrative of the side that controls academia. That’s horrifying.

    • Posted September 9, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      ” a representative of the Women In Mathematics (WIM) chapter in his department at Penn State contacted him to warn that the paper might be damaging to the aspirations of impressionable young women.”

      So, women are exactly the same as men in every way, except they are more emotionally fragile. Got it.

  10. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I have to say that I’m disappointed at those readers who thought Remnick’s deplatforming of Bannon, who had already been invited to the Festival, was just peachy. … Remnick is implacably opposed to Bannon’s ideology.

    I don’t think the question of deplatforming somehow being peachy – and now “Remnick [being] implacably opposed” – was that all readers originally responded to. The original article showed that Remnick compromised when some of his guests discovered and rejected sharing a platform with Bannon, but polarizing in that it imputed a lack of courage – now transformed to implacable opposition – in Remnick. I can agree with lack of courage since Remnick, instead of being a host making as many of his guests happy that he could, also described general public reactions as a reason.

    As for deplatforming being peachy and the outcome of Remnick’s actions, deplatforming may well have its uses if it suppress harmful ideas. That is – I take it – some of the reason for “hate speech laws” in Europe, who may work. Or they may not and increase the spread of harmful ideas. As far as I know the jury is still out on that one, despite US Constitution being “implacably opposed” to such applications of human rights.

  11. dd
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I, too, want to hear Bannon. What I do hear from everyone, it seems, is “silence him”, “we already know what he has to say”. But I wasn’t all that familiar with his ideas or had had a chance to listen to an interview.

    But saw this really good interview a couple of days ago with Sarah Ferguson of ABC News Australia

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 9, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      I’ll say this for Bannon: at least he has an enthusiasm for ideas. Now, his ideas are confused, and nearly all of them are wrong, but at least he has some. Which distinguishes him from his former boss, Donald Trump, who essentially has none, save for an unslakeable thirst for self-aggrandizement and the enhancement of his own bottom line.

      Donald Trump has an authoritarian personality, so a certain style of hard-right rhetoric comes naturally to him. But he actually believes in (or, for that matter, even understands) very little of the right-wing policy he espouses. For him, it’s merely about “branding” himself to appeal to a certain segment of the US electorate. But for some twists of happenstance, Trump could, I think, as easily be beating the drum for left-wing authoritarianism as for right.

  12. Posted September 8, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    My concern is free speech not Bannon. It seems to me those that wish to deny him his right think that this will make him go away and fade into the background noise.
    Here i draw on an analogy using the bodies immune system. How do you build immunity to a pathogen if your antibodies do not recognise it and learn how to deal with it.
    Just like Bannon and the like (to me, are anti progressive) viruses and bacteria are constantly changing and coming at you.
    Via discussion, trading ideas and argument, listening to the ‘virus’ a bedrock, that is, arming oneself, can be established to refuting bad ideas or at the very least, knowing you can deal with it… the anti pathogen.
    In that, after some work, you remain a healthy cognitively speaking human being. The ideal of free individual rights for all to speak is not compromised.
    Many here could say this better than me. But that’s my argument against de-platforming.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted September 8, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      The latest influenza virus I’ve encountered was the kindest, most gentle, and considerate virus my immune system and I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

      • Posted September 9, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        I too, had an encounter several years ago, we spent a few days getting to know one another and it got hot and sticky. It was a relationship that neither one of us could handle, so we parted company.

  13. BJ
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I feel so much smarter now that I watched a Jonathan Pie video and he made most of the same points I did! Guys, I’m like, super smart!

    But seriously, the man is brilliant. How does he do it? How does he speak like that without a single slip? Even if there is a script (and it sure doesn’t seem like it), how can it be delivered so flawlessly in that style?!? I marvel at this man every time I watch him.

    Does anyone know the name of that beautiful building behind him?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 8, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      My comment at #14 was meant to be in response to yours here.

  14. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I love the Jonathan Pie rants, too, BJ. But let’s not lose sight that these routines are a very talented comedic actor, Tom Walker, doin’ schtick. 🙂

    • BJ
      Posted September 8, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, but I’m going to tell you a secret: I taught him everything he knows. I post comments about how great he is so people will agree and confirm my brilliance.

    • Harrison
      Posted September 8, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Walker’s made it pretty clear in interviews that Pie’s politics are not all that dissimilar from his own, but he’s not quite so ill-tempered and vulgar as his character. So the points are real, but the furious delivery is affected.

  15. rickflick
    Posted September 8, 2018 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    “wandering plague ship of a man”.

    A wonderful simile. The ship festers in the harbor if it is not heard out. Letting him speak is to sanitize the intellectual landscape.

  16. Diane G
    Posted September 9, 2018 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    sub

  17. Posted September 9, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    That was a brilliant Jonathan Pie.

    Deep insecurity is the only thing that appears to explain why someone would fear what Bannon might say to defend the positions he purportedly holds. Pie is dead right when he says that if you silence or knife away at someone like Bannon his supporters are not going anywhere. When will the Left learn this?

  18. Posted September 10, 2018 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    You think Hitch would have been scared to take this goon on? Or do you think he’d have relished the chance to publicly crush him and his odious ideas?


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