"Si no conoces a tu enemigo no podrás derrotarlo" (Sun Tsu)
‘Anti-Semite gets top Trump post’, ran a headline on the Huffington Post. ‘Steve Bannon runs an anti-Semitic website, is a misogynist and will be one of Donald Trump’s senior advisers’, said Salon. Bannon’s time steering Breitbart, says Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, saw him turn it into the ‘premier website of the “alt-right” – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists'.Tom Slater | Sp!ked
Even by the standards of the post-Trump hysteria that has gripped the pro-Hillary set, the response to Bannon’s appointment has been positively unhinged. Is Bannon an anti-Semite? Well, only if you ask his ex-wife. She claimed that he ‘didn’t like Jews’ in the midst of messy divorce proceedings. Meanwhile, the disproportionately Jewish Breitbart staff have rallied around him. Even Breitbart’s former editor-at-large, Jewish commentator Ben Shapiro (who openly loathes Bannon and left the site after it transformed, in his words, into ‘Trump’s Pravda’), has come to his defence. As for the idea that he’s a ‘white nationalist’, this, too, is a more than a little over-cooked. ‘I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist’, he told the Hollywood Reporter last week.
No doubt, Bannon is a protectionist and a reactionary, and Breitbart, like Trump, often trades in a sense of white, blue-collar peril. But he has said nothing publicly to suggest he hates anyone beyond the Clintons, crony capitalists and the politically correct, ‘libtard’-dominated media. The former navy man turned Goldman Sachs trader turned media mogul is little more than a Tea Party type who loves a fight; a career opportunist who attached himself to figures like Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz and now Trump in an attempt to rise up the anti-establishment ranks and bring Breitbart’s Google ranking up with him. In the end, the case against him predominantly rests on a few salty, semi-serious Breitbart headlines – ‘Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?’, being among the most quoted
The reaction to Bannon’s appointment comes after months of fearmongering about the so-called alt-right, which Breitbart has at times embraced as a ‘transgressive’, ‘dissident’ response to political correctness. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the alt-right – a loose association of bloggers, self-styled intellectuals and trolls – espouses ‘white ethno-nationalism’. But the fact that the SPLC recently designated liberal Muslim critic Maajid Nawaz an ‘anti-Muslim extremist’ suggests we should be sceptical. Though some of the alt-right’s figureheads are demonstrable bigots, the bulk of this Twitter-based non-movement appears to be basement-bound idiots who think sending black actresses racist memes is funny. Though the alt-right is a hideous development – whose ugly pranks should be condemned, not apologised for – it is predominantly made up of teenagers in need of little more than a slap and a girlfriend.