In the era of President Donald Trump, the American media continues to ignore its role in helping to shape Trumpism. The latest example is The New Yorker’s decision to disinvite Steve Bannon from its annual festival.
After the publication announced its editor-in-chief David Remnick would be interviewing Bannon during this year’s festival, Jim Carrey, John Mulaney, Judd Apatow, Patton Oswalt, Jimmy Fallon, and many other stars threatened to drop out. Within a day, Bannon had been disinvited.
“To interview Bannon is not to endorse him,” Remnick said about talking to Bannon prior to the publication’s decision. “By conducting an interview with one of Trumpism’s leading creators and organizers, we are hardly pulling him out of obscurity. Ahead of the mid-term elections and with 2020 in sight, we’d be taking the opportunity to question someone who helped assemble Trumpism.”
However, Remnick didn’t stick to his guns, promising to interview Bannon in a more “traditionally journalistic setting” in the future.
On Twitter, Apatow showed just how out of touch the mainstream liberal mind is when it comes to Trump supporters when he threatened to leave.
“I will not take part in an event that normalizes hate,” he said.
As Reason noted, Apatow was naive to think that whatever ideology Bannon stands for hasn’t been “normalized.” After all, millions of people appear to condone it through its support of Trump.
But long before the left lost its marbles because Democracy did not legitimate their viewpoints in 2016, it was the same disregard for their opponents’ concerns that gave rise to Trumpism. And, as many have noted, it is the sneering at Trump supporters that further fuels their convictions regarding both liberals and the media.
Disinviting Bannon didn’t prove that hate is not “normalized,” it simply confirmed it, corroborating his followers’ conviction that the left has no courage to face them.
Hate Comes In Many Shapes
In the past, journalists didn’t fear interviewing controversial figures because they spewed “hate.”
As Reason pointed out, that was the case with Dick Cavett interviewing Lester Maddox and George Wallace. Oriana Fallaci also took on the task of interviewing “hateful” figures in her “Interview with History” series. In which she sat and talked to Henry Kissinger and even Ayatollah Khomeini.
Nobody then accused the journalists of helping to “normalize” hate. But today, in our post-moral society, our quest for virtue has turned us all into cultural puritans.
In a setting such as this, we all lose, as bad ideas aren’t being shut down in open and honest debates. Instead, cries for boycott, threats, and fighting hate with hate is what rules the day.
One can only hope that in the meantime, libertarians continue to stand out as the real voice of sanity.