Tags: steve bannon | donald trump | economist | new yorker

New Yorker Pulls Bannon's Invite to Festival After Backlash

New Yorker Pulls Bannon's Invite to Festival After Backlash
 (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 03 September 2018 05:26 PM

The New Yorker Festival announced its lineup Monday and hours later dropped its headlining guest, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, after at least five comedian panelists announced via Twitter they would not participate if Bannon remained.

Staff members of the New Yorker tweeted that editor-in-chief David Remnick, who was set to interview Bannon, sent an internal memo saying that he's "re-considered" and "changed my mind." According to New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum, he may interview Bannon on the Radio Hour instead.

John Mulaney tweeted "I'm out" and explained that while he "genuinely support[s] public intellectual debate...this isn't James Baldwin vs William F Buckley."

He went on to characterize Bannon's inclusion as "PT Barnum level horses---."

"If Steve Bannon is at the New Yorker festival I am out," wrote 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."

Jim Carrey followed suit shortly after, writing "Bannon? And me? On the same program? Could never happen."

Patton Oswalt also rescinded his participation Monday. "Sorry @NewYorker. See if Milo Yiannopoulos is free?"

A minute later, Bo Burnham posted on Twitter that he is also out. "After learning of the inclusion of Steve Bannon, I respectfully saying f-- that. Peace and love!"

The 19th iteration of the festival, which runs Oct. 5-7. Bannon would have participated in a discussion entitled "The Ideology of Trumpism."

Other prominent participants include David Hogg, Emily Blunt, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Haruki Murakami, and Zadie Smith. Janet Mock, Sally Q. Yates, John Krasinski, Jimmy Fallon, Bo Burnham, Kehinde Wiley, and Boots Riley will also guest.

Bannon also has been invited to speak at an event sponsored by The Economist.

In September, Bannon, a former Wall Streeter who co-founded conservative news outlet Breitbart, will be interviewed by The Economist’s editor-in-chief, Zanny Minton Beddoes — and on Monday, two participants — writer Laurie Penny and social justice advocate Ally Fogg — both tweeted their decision to drop out.

"I was honoured to be invited by @theeconomist to speak as part of their prestigious #openfuture convention - but I cannot in good conscience appear at an event which chooses to dignify a neo-nationalist like Steve Bannon. Unless this decision is reversed, I will not be attending," Penny tweeted. 

"No, I am not interested in ‘hearing the arguments’ for fascism, misogyny and white nationalism. There are no new arguments for fascism, or for misogyny, or for white nationalism. Only new recruits."

In an Aug. 10 post on Medium, The Economist’s audience engagement editor Adam Smith pushed back at criticism of Bannon’s inclusion in the outlet’s Open Future festival as a publicity ploy.

“Mr. Bannon will generate publicity for the event, but really he gives us a huge opportunity that strikes at the heart of Open Future,” Smith wrote “Our goal is nothing less than to remake the case for open societies and free markets in the 21st century by hosting a robust debate between people with different ideas. To do that, it is vital that we invite views from all sides — and challenge those views.”

But Twitter was unforgiving.

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton scoffed at Bannon’s inclusion at both events, while writer Kim Kelly condemned the New Yorker for giving Bannon a platform.

"For anyone who wonders what normalization of bigotry looks like, please look no further than Steve Bannon being invited by both @TheEconomist & @NewYorker to their respective events in #NYC a few weeks apart," tweeted Clinton. 

Other critics agreed.

"Media outlets need to stop legitimizing Steve Bannon by giving him a platform," tweeted journalist Sulome Anderson. "We should all be relieved his influence on our government has seemingly waned, not encourage its relevance. He’s a dangerous, destabilizing force in our country. He’s also *not newsworthy.* The end."

"Dear @NewYorker, Your decision to feature Steve Bannon as your headline speaker is sending a very clear message to your Black, Brown, immigrant and Muslim readers. And your soon-to-be former readers," said Khaled Beydoun, a law professor and author of “American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear.”

"I'm disgusted that @NewYorker Ideas Festival has invited Steve Bannon as their headliner. He's not a public official. He's not a legitimate intellectual. But he is a far-right organizer drawing intellectual cred from their platform," said documentary filmmaker Lindsay Beyerstein. 

After leaving the White House, Bannon threw his support and attention to building a populist movement in Europe.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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President Donald Trump's ex-chief strategist Stephen Bannon's invite to speak at two high-profile events in the coming weeks - one sponsored by the Economist and the other by the New Yorker - has ignited a fiery social media backlash.
steve bannon, donald trump, economist, new yorker
Monday, 03 September 2018 05:26 PM
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