It’s been amply established that Steve Bannon is one of the most loathsome people ever to come on the American political scene. During his first tenure at the helm of Breitbart News, he established strong links with white supremacist books both at home and abroad, and frequently quoted from a horribly racist book that argued white Europeans were the only people who had a right to call themselves human. He was also on record as saying that blacks and people who don’t own property shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
And yet, in the face of all of this, Donald Trump tapped him to helm his campaign. After Trump’s upset win, Bannon became Trump’s chief strategist and top political operative. If anything, he seemed to revel in his loathsome repuation; he said two weeks after the election that darkness was a good thing. Last week, we may have gotten an idea just how dark Bannon wants things. Apparently he’s prepared to team up with his former superstar at Breitbart, Milo Yiannopoulos.
Milo was nominally Breitbart’s tech editor, but in truth was nothing more than a highly paid troll–one who had no regard whatsoever for basic standards of decency. And yet, Bannon stuck by Milo even after Milo was drummed off Twitter for his disgraceful slagging of Leslie Jones. He stuck by Milo even after Milo claimed the rape culture on the Harvard men’s soccer team was just “locker room talk.” The conclusion is obvious–this was acceptable at Breitbart because Bannon created a world that was acceptable.
If there was any doubt about the rotten state of Breitbart’s culture, it was erased after Milo was caught on tape defending pedophilia. There was actually a debate within Breitbart about whether to let Milo keep his post. Editor-in-chief Alex Marlow claimed the whole thing was a “coordinated hit” by those out to get Breitbart. Even after Milo finally resigned, he claimed to have been the victim of a “cynical media witch hunt.”
If there was any doubt that Bannon had turned Breitbart into a cesspool, it was erased last week, when Milo dropped by SiriusXM’s “Breitbart News Daily.” Listen here.
While answering a question from a caller, Milo revealed that he had “spent time with Steve” earlier in the week. Marlow was dumbfounded, characterizing it as a “meeting of the minds.”
This is actually the second time in the last two months that Milo has appeared on a Breitbart show. In August, Marlow gave Milo almost half an hour to blame liberals for the rise of white supremacist groups. Listen here.
But the fact that Bannon is even willing to go anywhere near him says a lot. Remember, the Breitbart newsroom was reportedly on the verge of open revolt when the tapes of Milo defending pedophilia came to light. Any responsible media executive wouldn’t have touched Milo with a ten-foot pole. Granted, we already knew Bannon wasn’t responsible. But you would have thought this would have been too much even for Bannon. Apparently not.
Then again, we shouldn’t be all that surprised. After all, Bannon has declared that he wants to burn everything down. Apparently such little things as basic decency don’t matter when you want to reduce the system to a smoldering rubble.
(featured image courtesy Gage Skidmore, available under a Creative Commons BY-SA license)