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6 Sep, 2018 11:33

Is he a ‘hard white nationalist’? Bannon’s removal from New Yorker festival stirs up feud on RT

Revoking Steve Bannon’s invitation to a New Yorker festival ignited a debate live on RT, with one speaker insisting the magazine was right to do so, and another claiming the “radical left” don’t want the opposition to be heard.

“Given what Steve Bannon has represented – and massive critique around what he represented – which is the rise of white nationalism in the United States, I think it’s generally good that that platform has been taken away,” said Andres Bernal, a Queens College professor.

“And you have to be clueless to not see that there’s an association with Steve Bannon’s policy and politics, and the growth of white nationalist resentment in this country,” he continued. “You’re seeing the rise of hate crimes, you’re seeing this kind of a possessive fixation on xenophobia, and criminalizing all immigrants as if, you know, we’re all rapists.”

TV host and political commentator Steve Malzberg disagreed.

“They just don’t want the opposition to be heard, period. That’s what Antifa does, they beat people up, they’re the radical left, they don’t want an exchange of ideas in this country. They want one idea,” Malzberg said.

“Let’s assume for the sake of the argument that that statement about Steve Bannon and the link to white nationalism is true – which it’s not. What’s the harm? David Remnick, the publisher [of New Yorker] said he was going to grill Bannon, he was going to challenge him on his ideas,” Malzberg concluded.

The New Yorker invited Bannon to be a feature guest at the magazine’s October festival, but later decided to call off his invitation. The magazine’s editor David Remnick later conceded that the festival was not the best format in which to interview Bannon, and that it could be done “in a more traditional journalistic setting.”

The festival is an annual debate and entertainment event featuring high-profile writers, journalists and actors. Bannon, a former chief strategist for Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign and an ex-chairman of Breitbart News, has often been accused of being a white nationalist, anti-Semite, and xenophobe.

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