Members of the mainstream media have not yet accepted the phrase “President-Elect Donald Trump.” It must be jarring for them. The Wikileaks emails showed how many of them had worked tirelessly to position themselves for prime jobs in a Hillary Clinton administration, and they’d sacrificed what remained of their credibility to make it happen.
Once it became clear it wasn’t going to happen, journalists who’d polished their resumes and started packing their desks discovered the folly of spiking the football on the 5-yard-line. As such, they’re angry, and they want revenge against Donald Trump for denying them.
Thus began the “fight” over Steve Bannon.
I know Steve Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart News and the president-elect’s top strategist, a little bit. I was friends with Andrew Breitbart, and a few years before Andrew passed away, Bannon showed up. I didn’t know what he did or where he came from, and I didn’t care. I didn’t work for Breitbart – I just wrote for it occasionally – so my relationship with the site and those associated with it was social.
That’s how I know Bannon, socially. And socially, he’s nothing like the caricature the media is trying to paint.
Steve wasn’t the life of the party (that was Andrew), nor was he the death of the party. He was just there, friendly, but quiet, and engaging when engaged. I have no love for the man, nor do I have any animosity.
I will say I have many friends and associates who worked for him, and they aren’t fans. But even they swear that although he’s not someone you want as your boss because he’s demanding and can be verbally, um, difficult, the assertion he’s some sort of secret racist, anti-Semitic monster is absurd.
Yet that’s how the media is portraying him.
If Steve Bannon is an anti-Semite, he is embarrassingly horrible at it. Andrew Breitbart was Jewish – as is Bannon’s business partner and lifelong friend, Larry Solov. I’m no expert on hating Jews, but I can’t imagine it involves going into business with them.
There are two pieces of “evidence” most often cited as “proof” of Bannon’s anti-Semitism, when the media bothers to cite anything beyond the allegation. One is something his ex-wife claimed in a divorce filing, the other is a headline that appeared on Breitbart reading, “Bill Kristol: Republicans Spoiler, Renegade Jew.”
On the first, I have no idea what divorce is like or what goes on inside a marriage breaking apart, so your guess is as good as mine.
On the second, I do know something about it because, unlike the media, I know how to search the Internet and read beyond the headline.
The “offending” piece was written not by Bannon, but by David Horowitz. Horowitz is not a Muslim or Irish name; he’s Jewish. How the term “renegade Jew” is a slur of any sort is something I’ve yet to see explained, and even if it somehow were, how it being written by another Jewish person, I would think, would negate any anti-Semitic intent.
No journalists accused Jay-Z of hating black people when he peppered the stage at Hilary Clinton rallies with N-bombs, yet Bannon is supposed to be a secret Nazi because a Jewish person referenced another Jewish person in one among tens of thousands of headlines on a website where he didn’t serve as headline writer or even an editor.
The evidence of Bannon’s alleged racism is even thinner. It appears to be based on phony progressive hypersensitivity and wishful thinking. When the media and activist left want to smear someone, they simply declare something that can’t be disproven and repeat it as often as necessary until it spreads like a cold on a plane.
Democrats across the country released statements declaring Trump’s hire to be racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-this, against-that, history’s greatest monster. Political commentators and the morons on The View chimed in too. Missing from all those press releases and breathless statements was anything backing up the smears.
Even the Washington Post, in a piece seemingly written solely to advance the narrative, had to admit, “Direct evidence of racist or anti-Semitic statements by Bannon is harder to find.”
The piece, like the breathless declarations by elected Democrats, doesn’t cite any. Why let the facts stand in the way of a good story?
As for the other allegations, National Review, certainly no fan of Trump’s or Bannon’s, reports, “Julia Jones, Bannon’s screenwriting partner in Hollywood for nearly two decades, told the Daily Beast in August, “I never knew the ‘racist Steve’ that’s being reported now. I never heard him make any racist jokes, and his best friend was an African-American who went to [college] with him. . . . I never saw even a hint of racism.”
Again, if he’s a racist and a sexist, he’s pretty horrible at it.
There are plenty of things to dislike about Steve Bannon, as there are about every human being. But the way the media has chosen to do it is beyond irresponsible. They’re taking out their anger over Hillary Clinton’s loss on Bannon because he’s the target closest to Donald Trump they think they can get at. They want a scalp, plain and simple. And they’ll lie to get it.