New Yorker capitulates after liberal outrage over Steve Bannon interview

by Dwayne Torres September 5, 2018, 4:00
New Yorker capitulates after liberal outrage over Steve Bannon interview

Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist to President Donald Trump, speaks at a debate with Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton, at Zofin Palace, May 22, 2018, in Prague, Czech Republic.

On Monday evening, The New Yorker announced that Bannon wouldn't be welcome at the festival after all. John Mulaney, Patton Oswalt and Bo Burnham were also among those who had threatened a boycott. And me? On the same program?

In response, Bannon called Remnick "gutless".

There is also nothing more to learn from proven dissemblers, like Kellyanne Conway, who keep being invited onto the top news shows to shamelessly spout whatever falsehood serves the Trumpian moment.

Update: The New Yorker Festival has dropped Steve Bannon from its lineup amid backlash. "The point of an interview, a rigorous interview, particularly in a case like this, is to put pressure on the views of the person being questioned".

It's likely that Bannon will treat the New Yorker decision as a victory, said columnist Nesrine Malik of The Guardian.

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Ben Stiller is not scheduled to be a part of the fest but wanted in on pulling out anyway, writing "I totally was available to fill in when everyone dropped out but would have so quickly said no f-ing way if they had asked, but now it's all moot, so never mind".

"The main argument for not engaging someone like Bannon is that we are giving him a platform and that he will use it, unfiltered, to propel further the "ideas" of white nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, and illiberalism", Remnick wrote in the statement.

He said he would consider interviewing him instead in a "traditionally more journalistic" setting in the future. But, instead, all these famous people, these New Yorker contributors, and these newly unsubscribed readers who shouted their disapproval are no different than the college students who scream that they do not want to be exposed to risky ideas every time Milo cons his way onto campus. I hope the @NewYorker will do the right thing and cancel the Steve Bannon event.

Considering the inevitable firestorm, inviting Steve Bannon may have been unwise, but disinviting him makes David Remnick and this storied institution look too weak to stand up to the mob. "If you only invite your friends over, it's called a dinner party".

In the end, though, Remnick said the outcry led him to conclude there were better ways to engage with Bannon - who would have been paid an honorarium and other fees for taking part in the festival.

"The New Yorker has been my holy grail for the whole of my writing life".

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