16 Feb '17     home | more politics

Bannon at CPAC

Yesterday, Bannon appeared at a CPAC (conservative political action conference) alongside Reince Prebus, and complained about the "corporatist, globalist media." So why the "corporatist" media? He dislikes the Washington Post, for example, which is owned by Amazon's Jeff Besos. What about Fox News and the Murdoch empire?

Bannon was continuing his anti-establishment posturing, employed during the election campaign.

The Washington Post writes:

After donning a dress shirt and tie Thursday [yesterday] morning for a White House meeting with corporate executives, Bannon changed into a black shirt (open collared, no tie), black blazer and khakis for his visit to CPAC. At one point, Priebus looked at Bannon and quipped, "I love how many collars he wears. Interesting look."

During the political campaigning, Priebus and Bannon were reported as not getting along, as having competing agendas. Following Trump's election, Republican "establishment" people accommodated with the Trump and Bannon movement. Priebus became Trump's White House chief of staff and Bannon became Trump's "chief strategist and senior counselor." Accommodation is common in politics. Both men now have an interest in appearing to be working well together, and Trump supporters can conveniently forget or dismiss what is now old campaign rhetoric.

But Bannon has an interest in appearing as a fighter. It keeps him appearing to be essential. Bannon describes President Trump's opponents as not the Democrats but as the media, and he won his greatest applause at CPAC announcing: “If you think they’re going to give you your country back without a fight, you’re sadly mistaken,” Bannon said. “Every day there is going to be a fight." He said, It's goona get worse everyday ... if you think they're going to give you your country back without a fight, you're sadly mistaken."

He was talking about a fight with the media. "And the only way to combat the media," he said, "is to fight like hell against them on everything and anything." The media, he says, is "adamantly opposed to" the president's agenda.

Bannon describes that agenda as economic nationalism. When Bannon spoke to the conference at the Vatican back in 2014 the agenda he defended was saving Judea-Christianity from the atheists. Now, in addition to saving the United States from the corporate media, he is for saving the country from those opposed to the nation acting in its own economic self-interest.

The conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer writes of Trump having chosen "men of experience, judgment and traditionalism." Krauthammer describes "practically every member of the team – the heads of State, Homeland Security, the CIA, and most especially Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster — could fit in a Cabinet put together by, say, Hillary Clinton. Bannon is the odd man out. Will Trump find Bannon useful as an advisor regarding propaganda? Does Bannon feel secure with his seat on the National Security Council run by a sound straight-shooter like H.R. McMaster? Is Bannon posturing as vital to the Trump presidency when in fact he is little more than a wild-shoot propagandist and opportunist?

Someone writes to the Washington Post:

Bannon's bombast is just that: Not even the president can do anything to constrain the media. The "media" is all of us. Not only is it the publishers but the readers and commentator's like us. This is America - I can call Trump an SOB if I want to (and I do want to) and there is nothing he can do about it.

Someone else:

Good grief, Bannon doesn't have a worldview, just a collection of nihilistic gobbletalk.

A third:

I don't know about others, but I'm watching far more mainstream media news than I used to, just to try and get a sense of what's going on. If he wants to destroy media, boosting its value and necessity is an odd way to go about it.

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