Liberals Deem Steve Bannon Too Dangerous to Interview
It appears that one of two things are true: Either liberals are so caught up in their own bubble that they’re unaware of the intense censorship concerns swirling in the conservative zeitgeist right now, or they are aware and simply don’t care. Seeing as how the de-platforming of Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, Charles Murray, Milo Yiannopoulos, and others has been extensively covered by mainstream liberal pundits and reporters, we can only conclude it’s the latter. The left is fully cognizant that a great many Americans are disturbed and distressed with this war on free speech, and they are absolutely fine with that. Even with a growing chorus of dissent from within the liberal sphere of influence – Sam Harris, Bill Maher, to name a couple – Resistance, Inc. has decided they’re going to keep pushing conservative views off the stage, off the air, and into the darkness. This, they’ve determined, is their best path to victory.
No doubt, the New Yorker’s David Remnick is abreast of the situation, which makes it a little surprising that he would invite Steve Bannon to attend his New York festival in the first place. Remnick was surely watching when The Atlantic hired, and then quickly fired, Kevin D. Williamson after the online universe exploded in ghastly horror at the prospect of a pro-life writer joining such an esteemed, elite publication. He may have reasoned that his liberal readership would be mollified by the knowledge that he would (in theory) brutalize Bannon on stage with his morally superior, academically-grounded, stick-and-move strategy (aided immensely by a live audience ready to cheer his every “gotcha”). But he miscalculated the extent to which a certain, terrifyingly large percentage of the left has internalized the belief that anyone with an (R) next to their name – much less someone who actually worked with President He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named – is a literal Nazi.
Thus, within a few hours of announcing Bannon’s appearance at the New Yorker Festival, Remnick had a mutiny on his hands. Guests like Jim Carrey, Patton Oswalt, and John Mulaney fired up their Virtue Cannons and shot Remnick an ultimatum: Either he goes, or we go.
“If Steve Bannon is at the New Yorker festival, I am out,” tweeted director Judd Apatow. “I will not take part in an event that normalizes hate. I hope the @NewYorker will do the right thing and cancel the Steve Bannon event. Maybe they should read their own reporting about his ideology.”
Like…he’s not even a Democrat, guys!
Facing the prospect of a festival populated by exactly one guest, Remnick quickly re-calculated the cost/benefit analysis of sticking up for free speech.
“I’ve thought this through and talked to colleagues – and I’ve reconsidered,” he wrote in an email to staff on Monday. “I’ve changed my mind. There is a better way to do this. Our writers have interviewed Steve Bannon for The New Yorker before, and if the opportunity presents itself I’ll interview him in a more traditionally journalistic setting as we first discussed, and not on stage.”
In a statement, Bannon said Remnick was a coward for backing down.
“The reason for my acceptance was simple: I would be facing one of the most fearless journalists of his generation,” Bannon said. “In what I would call a defining moment, David Remnick showed he was gutless when confronted by the howling mob.”
It would be nice to say we were surprised – even a little – by the way this episode played out, but it’s simply par for the course. The days of “liberal” being synonymous with defending the First Amendment are over…unless you happen to be tearing down a Confederate statue or kneeling for the national anthem. The online echo chamber has turned the American Left into a twisted cult that grows ever more deranged with each passing day. You’re not just wrong if you disagree with their progressive agenda, you are evil. And when you’ve decided, en masse, that your ideological opponents pose a mortal threat to your very existence, it’s very easy to justify silencing them.
It may be time to ponder what else that belief might justify.