Grab your cup of coffee and then go to nytimes.com and search for “Bannon.” Settle in and read the articles.
A musical about Rasputin is tied to Trump chief of strategy Stephen Bannon. “(It’s a comparison neither Mr. Bannon nor Rasputin would probably find flattering.)” Nice.
“Steve Bannon Cited Italian Thinker Who Inspired Fascists.” John Fund over at National Review noted that the NYT’s Sunday print edition headlined this “Fascists Too Lax for a Philosopher Cited by Bannon.” The piece is a study in bias and pretext without context. Bannon mentioned–once, at a Vatican conference in 2014–Julius Evola, the practically unknown Italian philosopher who supported Mussolini and the Fascists.
Bannon’s sole reference to Evola came when he mentioned that a leading influence on Vladimir Putin was Aleksandr Dugin, an ultranationalist writer “who harkens back to Julius Evola and different writers of the early 20th century who are really the supporters of what’s called the traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian Fascism.” The dictionary definition of “metastasize” is “to transform, especially into a dangerous form.” So Bannon’s mention of Evola is hardly an endorsement of fascism on Bannon’s part.
They’re digging. They’ve been digging, and putting literally scores of reporters on assignment to track down everyone who’s ever associated with Bannon.
Last November, the Boston Globe spoke to all of his Harvard Business School classmates they could find from 1983. Most of what they found was positive, but they also published this.
“There was some anger there. He was wound really tightly,” said one former classmate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “I’ve lost sleep around the fact that he’s so close to the president of the United States. . . . The women in my section have as well.”
The Washington Post went back even further, to Bannon’s service in the U.S. Navy.
A review by The Washington Post of Bannon’s naval career, based on interviews with more than 25 shipmates and an examination of deck logs stored at the National Archives, found that his service was steady but unremarkable.
They tracked down his shipmates from 37 years ago. They scoured 40-year-old ship’s logs from the National Archives. Did they expect to find The Da Vinci Code hidden there? On the USS Paul F. Foster, the sonar dome was damaged during a storm, when Bannon was on the bridge as navigator. The Foster was part of the convoy of ships supporting the USS Nimitz in the botched “Desert One” hostage rescue mission to Iran.
Then, suddenly, the Foster was ordered back to Pearl Harbor.
What happened next is unclear because all of the deck logs for April 1980 are missing from the National Archives. (Officials said that records for that month were not among the documents it originally received.) It was on April 24 that the rescue mission was launched and resulted in the eight deaths in the desert.
A scandal? A coverup? A YouTube video! The Post suggests that Trump agents went back in time to remove the evidence before it got to the archives. Bring in Tom Cruise as Lt. Daniel Kaffee to investigate!
“I want the truth!”
All this digging, and there’s nothing there. Hundreds of man-hours of investigative reporting into the background of a man the media clearly despises with the heat of 10,000 suns, but they’ve found nothing with which to accuse him–other than he speaks his mind, and they don’t like what he says.
Bannon is not the lightweight political dilettante the press has suggested for months. He’s got a Masters in National Security Studies from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. He’s got 7 years as an officer in the Navy, separating with the rank of Lieutenant. He’s got a Harvard MBA. He worked for Goldman Sachs, a firm with the reputation of hiring the cream of the crop and then retaining only top performers.
He’s got money. He funded and shaped Breitbart News, and ran it after Andrew Breitbart died.
The only thing the press can hold against Bannon is that he’s not a liberal. If he were a liberal, they’d tout all his accomplishments, education and stellar resume as proof of rock-solid competence. Stephen Bannon is competent–just not in what liberals want as an outcome.
So now they’re going after Bannon as a manipulator, a Wormtongue, a Rasputin. The NY Times painted Chief of Staff Reince Priebus as “over his head,” with Bannon being the real power behind President Trump. Maybe he is.
Priebus is an excellent administrator with a penchant for details and getting the nitty-gritty right. He’s not a “grand vision” guy, but he is a well-respected, nice guy. Bannon is the opposite of a nice guy, and he doesn’t care. But the press is going to keep combing through Bannon’s life, day by day, looking for the knife with which to stab him.
If they find it, they might see Bannon reply in the manner of Marcus Tullius Cicero, who told the assassins dispatched by Mark Antony to murder him “There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly.”