Anyone who is surprised at the appointment of right-wing guru Steve Bannon as the Donald Trump administration’s chief strategist and counselor has been living in an alternate universe, the universe in which President-elect Trump would “pivot” into something resembling a mainline GOP conservative.
And anyone who is amazed at Trump’s temerity
Above all, they’ve forgotten the cardinal rule of Trumpworld: attachment to profit and the Trump brand is a means of increasing influence and power over others. As CEO of Breitbart News, Bannon is key to that strategy, in America and beyond.
Bannon is most famous for his stewardship of Breitbart, the right-wing media outlet that many liberal Americans first became aware of when its reporter, Michelle Fields, was manhandled by Trump’s then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. Fields then resigned when her employer tried to discredit her
This episode served as an introduction to one of Breitbart’s, and Bannon’s, central platforms: the denigration of women. Breitbart News uses misogyny as clickbait, blaring headlines like “There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech: They Just Suck at Interviews.”
The blaming and intimidation of women who have been sexually harassed is a favorite theme. As the world knows, this has been an ongoing issue for Trump. Indeed, he’s our first President-elect to have inspired an episode of Law & Order, Special Victims Unit, about a presidential candidate who faces accusations from women (scheduled for November 2016, it’s now to be aired sometime in 2017).
And yet, as many readers will be saying at this point, nearly half of female voters supported Trump. They likely won’t be upset that they’re getting Bannon in the bargain as well. For the new chief strategist has a whole other appeal. He’s an agitator for a virulent white nationalism that targets people of color and immigrants as criminals and spreads conspiracy theories designed to destabilize our democracy by sowing division and eroding civic trust.