Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist — and former Breitbart senior editor — has an abrasive quote for the media, and he isn’t mincing his words: Shut up!
Bannon, who has been criticized for his views on the far-right website before joining Trump’s Administration, criticized the media during a New York Times interview. Steve Bannon, who was also the president’s choice for his senior counselor, said the American journalist is out of touch with the spirit of the United States.
— Phillipa (@odawa49) January 27, 2017
“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.”
Bannon also made a special request to the interviewer. He wanted to be quoted precisely.
“I want you to quote this. The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
Steve Bannon’s stunning quotes come at a time when the media is still sparring with Donald Trump. The president is under fire for several recent claims: his inauguration crowds are the biggest on record, and alleged charges of widespread voter fraud. In both cases, multiple sources, including members of his own party, have refuted his remarks.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 26, 2017
The Pulitzer Prize-winning site Politifact said it found several inconsistencies with Trump’s accusations of voter fraud and cited “many false claims” the commander-in-chief made.
“Trump repeatedly warned of widespread voter fraud and illegal votes during and after the election, and has received several Pants on Fire and False ratings.”
Bannon’s stunning indictment of the media establishment sent ripples throughout social media and among career journalists.
CNN’s Jake Tapper offered a short, but sharp retort to Bannon’s admonishment of the media.
“As a reminder, the President’s top aide just told the New York Times it should ‘keep it’s mouth shut,'” Tapper said, before pausing with a slight smirk and simply saying, “No.”
Jake Tapper's beautiful response to Steve Bannon's call for the press to "Keep its mouth shut." pic.twitter.com/wznGEkWtYq
— Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) January 26, 2017
Greg Hogben, a British human rights activist and author of the book, My Daughter’s Army, took to his Twitter account and described Tapper’s response as “beautiful.”
According to the Times‘ post, Bannon stirred up controversy when the news was announced that then-candidate Trump was tapping him for a position on his campaign team. He’s associated with the “alt-right,” which critics say is a masquerade for white nationalism.
Bannon’s reference to the media — not the Democratic Party — as the “opposition party” means that American news outlets have little grasp on the dynamics of politics and the electoral process. He refers to Trump’s surprise victory at the polls when most pollsters and the press predicted a Hillary Clinton landslide.
Bannon called the press “elite,” and expressed a particular bias towards the Washington Post, which drew the ire of Trump during his campaign.
Steve Bannon’s quoted attack on the media during the telephone interview is nothing new. In the past, he assailed the press for systematically conspiring to elect Clinton over Trump using widespread endorsements.
— POLITICO (@politico) January 26, 2017
Bannon is reportedly still bitter towards the Committee to Protect Journalists, which publicly denounced Trump for his hostility of the press and its right to free speech in the performance of its duties to the American public.
The Times believes Bannon is making good on Trump’s “nationalist vision” he invoked during his campaign for the White House.
“And in many ways Mr. Trump’s first week has put into action that vision — from the description of ‘American carnage’ Mr. Trump laid out in his inauguration speech, to a series of executive actions outlining policy on trade agreements, immigration, the building of a border wall and the demands that Mexico pay for it.”
Do you think the relationship between the Trump Administration and the press will improve in time? Are Steve Bannon’s quotes to the media warranted or out of line?
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]