Wow, this joker Steve Bannon must be evil with a capital “E.”
Let’s deal first with the charge that Bannon is an anti-semite. It has two factual bases. The first is that Steve Bannon’s ex wife made unsubstantiated charges in her divorce pleadings — charges that Bannon has denied. This from The Hill:
Donald Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon’s ex-wife said in divorce proceedings that he didn’t want their daughters to attend a Los Angeles school because of “the number of Jews.”
The former Brietbart News executive’s ex-wife signed a court document in 2007, the New York Daily News reported, that Bannon was concerned about the effect Jewish students at the Archer School for Girls would have on their twins.
“The biggest problem he had with Archer is the number of Jews that attend,” read the woman’s June 2007 statement.
“He said that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiny brats’ and that he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.”
The woman said that he asked for numbers on the population of Jewish students at a competing private school.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Bannon’s spokeswoman Alexandra Preate denied that he ever made such comments and said the girls did end up attending the school.
“Mr. Bannon said he never said anything like that and proudly sent the girls to Archer for their middle school and high school education,” Preate said.
Seems like an incredibly big jump to go from that to the claim that Bannon is a frothing anti-Semite. So what about the people who have worked with Bannon over a period of years? They should know if there is anything to suggest Bannon is anti-Semitic. The answer is there is nothing at all. Not the tiniest squeak from the any of them, including Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart editor, a Jew, and a person with an open and intense personal dislike for Bannon. Says Shapiro flatly, “I have no evidence that Bannon’s a racist or that he’s an anti-Semite.”
And you can look to other Jewish figures who take such allegations extremely seriously and have either personal knowledge or have investigated for themselves. They include Pam Geller, David Goldman, Jeff Dunetz, Robert Avrech and Alan Dershowitz. So if about now you are detecting that delicate aroma of bullshit from these allegations in the media, well, you’re warranted.
The one other factual allegation is that Bannon supposedly ran an anti-Semitic article at Breitbart. The article, written by the conservative Jew David Horowitz, was Bill Krystol, Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew. Very few of the prog media outlets mentioning this article as proof of anti-semitism also include the link. The reason why is obvious. Though perhaps it was a poor choice of words for the title, there is nothing in the article that remotely promotes anti-semitism. Here are the opening two paragraphs of that article:
While millions of Republican primary voters have chosen Donald Trump as the party’s nominee, Bill Kristol and a small but well-heeled group of Washington insiders are preparing a third party effort to block Trump’s path to the White House.
Their plan is to run a candidate who could win three states and enough votes in the electoral college to deny both parties the needed majority. This would throw the election into the House of Representatives, which would then elect a candidate the Kristol group found acceptable. The fact that this would nullify the largest vote ever registered for a Republican primary candidate, the fact that it would jeopardize the Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, and more than likely make Hillary Clinton president, apparently doesn’t faze Kristol and company at all. This is to give elitism a bad name. . . .
The word Jew does not appear in the article until the last paragraph. It is there and in the prior paragraph that the title is implicitly explained by Mr. Horowitz:
All these dishonesties and flim-flam excuses pale by comparison with the consequences Kristol and his “Never Trump” cohorts are willing to risk by splitting the Republican vote. Obama has provided America’s mortal enemy, Iran, with a path to nuclear weapons, $150 billion dollars, and the freedom to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver the lethal payloads. Trump has promised to abandon the Iran deal, while Hillary Clinton and all but a handful of Democrats have supported this treachery from start to finish. Kristol is now one of their allies.
I am a Jew who has never been to Israel and has never been a Zionist in the sense of believing that Jews can rid themselves of Jew hatred by having their own nation state. But half of world Jewry now lives in Israel, and the enemies whom Obama and Hillary have empowered — Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, ISIS, and Hamas — have openly sworn to exterminate the Jews. I am also an American (and an American first), whose country is threatened with destruction by the same enemies. To weaken the only party that stands between the Jews and their annihilation, and between America and the forces intent on destroying her, is a political miscalculation so great and a betrayal so profound as to not be easily forgiven.
This is the opposite of anti-Semitism. Neither Horowitz in writing the article, nor Breitbart in publishing it, is smearing those of the Jewish faith. To the contrary, Horowitz is indicting Bill Kristol, a Jewish man who strongly supports Israel and Zionism, for engaging in behavior that has the practical effect of aligning himself with anti-Semitic forces.
So, the prog left continues to be fact free but narrative strong. The charge that Bannon is a white supremacist because he embraces the “alt right” is no less groundless.
First off, what the hell is the alt right? I’ve been deeply involved in conservative politics for twenty-five years and have never heard of it. John Hinderaker at Powerline expresses similar mystification as he deconstructs an AP article supposedly explaining it:
Does the “alt-right” exist? I am quite well connected in conservative circles; I have hundreds of friends and acquaintances who call themselves conservatives. But I had never heard of the “alt-right” until it was brought up by Hillary Clinton’s supporters in the just-concluded campaign. This despite having checked Breitbart News, the web site in question, daily for a long time. So I doubt whether the “alt-right”–unlike, say, socialism–represents a serious force in American politics.
But note how the AP defines this nefarious philosophy. It is “far right,” even though its supposedly leading practitioner has just played a key role in a winning presidential campaign. “Alt-right” adherents, whoever they are, seek to “preserve ‘white identity.’” I have no idea what that means and, in any event, have never seen anything on Breitbart News about preserving white identity. Next we learn that the “alt-right” opposes multiculturalism. As well it should, given how multiculturalism is defined these days. I oppose it, too, and I hope that most conservatives, and many liberals, would say the same. And from there we go farther downhill: the possibly mythical “alt-right” defends Western values! The horror!
In fact it was no less a person than Bannon who himself stated that he embraced the “alt right.” He gave an interview during the Republican National Convention to a reporter from Mother Jones, a publication of the hard prog left. The resulting Mother Jones article quotes Bannon as saying of the Breitbart website, “We’re the platform for the alt-right.”
The Mother Jones author, without linking to a single article published on Breitbart, then explains to her readers, “Under Bannon’s leadership, the site has plunged into the fever swamps of conservatism, cheering white nationalist groups as an “eclectic mix of renegades,” accusing President Barack Obama of importing “more hating Muslims,” and waging an incessant war against the purveyors of “political correctness.”
Whoa. Now, I have not seen, nor has anyone in any of the fact free prog media, cited an article on Breitbart that cheers “white nationalists.” To understand the deeply disingenuous game the progs are playing here, let me give you an example of three statements.
Statement One — Islam is all sweetness and light. Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. If we just blindly let more of them into our country, we will make the Muslims like us.
Statement Two — Some Islamic teachings motivate terrorists to murder, slaughter and mayhem. Moderate Muslims, of whom there are many, who want to bring their religion into the 21st century need to address these teachings. We should give them our full support while at the same time carefully screening Muslims entering our country lest we let in those who want to do us harm.
Statement Three — All Muslims are subhuman scum.
Obviously, the fantasy in Statement One is indeed the politically correct position of the progressive left. They treat anyone who does not parrot that position as Islamaphobic, anti-Muslim, and deeply racist.
Statement Two is not politically correct. It is not racist, but it is reality. And as such, it is the position of anyone who values objective truth.
Statement three is text book racist, deeming an entire group of people to share defining undesirable characteristics. There are those on the very fringes of this country who I am sure evince this belief. They have no place in mainstream America, and indeed, I know of no one on the right who would tolerate such people.
So here is the game the prog left is playing with this “alt right” bullshit. Breitbart publishes article after article in the vein of statement two. There is nothing in there that can be objectively construed as racist, so either none of articles are linked, or if there is a quote from a Breitbart article, it is taken completely out of context, just as with the Horowitz “renegade Jew” remark. So what is the left using to justify its claim that Bannon is Satan’s second cousin?
They are doing it by saying that Bannon’s Breitbart appeals to the objectively racist and anti-Semitic groups that support Statement Three, then implying guilt by association. This from Mother Jones:
Trump’s new campaign chief denies that the alt-right is inherently racist. He describes its ideology as “nationalist,” though not necessarily white nationalist. Likening its approach to that of European nationalist parties such as France’s National Front, he says, “If you look at the identity movements over there in Europe, I think a lot of [them] are really ‘Polish identity’ or ‘German identity,’ not racial identity. It’s more identity toward a nation-state or their people as a nation.” (Never mind that National Front founder Jean Marie Le Pen has been fined in France for “inciting racial hatred.”)
Bannon dismisses the alt-right’s appeal to racists as happenstance. “Look, are there some people that are white nationalists that are attracted to some of the philosophies of the alt-right? Maybe,” he says. “Are there some people that are anti-Semitic that are attracted? Maybe. Right? Maybe some people are attracted to the alt-right that are homophobes, right? But that’s just like, there are certain elements of the progressive left and the hard left that attract certain elements.”
A Twitter analysis conducted by The Investigative Fund using Little Bird software found that these “elements” are more deeply connected to Breitbart News than more traditional conservative outlets. While only 5 percent of key influencers using the supremacist hashtag #whitegenocide follow the National Review, and 10 percent follow the Daily Caller, 31 percent follow Breitbart. The disparities are even starker for the anti-Muslim hashtag #counterjihad: National Review, 26 percent; the Daily Caller, 37 percent; Breitbart News, 62 percent.
Bannon’s views often echo those of his devoted followers. He describes Islam as “a political ideology” and Sharia law as “like Nazism, fascism, and communism.” On his Sirius XM radio show, he heaped praise on Pamela Geller, whose American Freedom Defense Initiative has been labeled an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Bannon called her “one of the leading experts in the country, if not the world,” on Islam. And he basically endorsed House Speaker Paul Ryan’s primary challenger, businessman Paul Nehlen, who floated the idea of deporting all Muslims from the United States.
Two things. First, I went to the Investigative Group website to see if I could find the raw numbers used to come up with these “twitter analysis” percentages. Breitbart had 31 million unique visitors in July. The raw numbers aren’t published that I can find, which leads me to suspect that the number of people using those hashtags are probably extremely low. Without knowing them, the percentages are meaningless, and with Mother Jones hiding them, I would not be surprised to find them at substantially less than 1%.
Two, the prog left has finally discovered guilt by association. Holy Mother of God, I thought that died in 2007. Remember back when the progressive media complex dug into the background of Barrack Hussein Obama, then tried to define him by the sins of his associates? There were a rogues gallery of them, from anti-American terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn to his Communist mentor. Frank Marshall Davis, to his hate spewing preacher of twenty years, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and many equally odious in between. And these were people Obama chose to embrace, not merely people drawn to his message. Yes, well, no one else remembers it either.
If you want to find real racism, look to the progressive left, who treat blacks as unable to compete on their own merits. If you want to find real sexism, look to the radical feminists who treat men as inherently evil and want special treatment for women. And if you want to find real anti-Semitism, look no further than the progressive left, with their embrace of Iran, radical Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and the BDS movement. Disgusting.
There was a time when I looked upon my differences with progs as being mere policy arguments. I credited them with being rational and intellectually honest. Those days are long gone. These people, many of whom Goebbels would recognize as kindred spirits, need to be driven from the mainstream of society.