The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Steve Bannon, Andrew Breitbart and the ‘Humiliating Defeat’ of the Elite Media

Posted on | January 27, 2017 | 1 Comment


First, the quotes that are being quoted everywhere:

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while,” Mr. Bannon said during a telephone call.
“I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.” . . .
“The elite media got it dead wrong, 100 percent dead wrong,” Mr. Bannon said of the election, calling it “a humiliating defeat that they will never wash away, that will always be there.” . . .
Asked if he was concerned that Mr. Spicer had lost credibility with the news media, Mr. Bannon chortled. “Are you kidding me?” he said. “We think that’s a badge of honor. ‘Questioning his integrity’ — are you kidding me? The media has zero integrity, zero intelligence, and no hard work.”
“You’re the opposition party,” Mr. Bannon said. “Not the Democratic Party. You’re the opposition party. The media’s the opposition party.”

My teenage son was somewhat puzzled yesterday by Trump press secretary Sean Spicer’s antagonism toward the White House press corps, and I just laughed: “No, you don’t get it — everybody hates the media. The only people in America who don’t hate the media are the media.”

When I woke up Thursday morning and switched on CNN, the chyron across the bottom of the screen was: “TRUMP’S OBSESSION WITH CROWD SIZE” — nearly a week after the inauguration, CNN was still trying to “win” that argument. But who was “obsessed”? Trump or CNN?

“Turn the camera around” — that was one of Andrew Breitbart’s mantras. Force the people behind the camera to explain themselves and make the media’s own biases the subject of the story. The Trump team, with Breitbart’s buddy Bannon as chief of staff, has made it happen. While the grassroots Left is shrieking in a hysterical mood of rage and fear, unable to understand how Hillary lost or what Trump’s presidency means, the elite media continue trying to pretend that the problem is Trump, when the problem is actually in the executive suites and TV control rooms of CNN and other soi-disant “mainstream” news organizations.

Allahpundit at Hot Air:

When I read [Bannon’s quotes to the New York Times], in my mind I hear the quotes in Andrew Breitbart’s voice, not Bannon’s. Conservatives who dislike’s Trump cheerleading like to complain that the site would have looked different last year if Andrew were in charge, but I’ve always thought that was overstated. Bannon is giving you pure #WAR here. Their goals may be different — Bannon is a nationalist while Breitbart, as I understood him, was more of a libertarian — but the idea of the media as the archenemy of the right is the thread that tied them together, and tied both to the rest of conservative media. The line between Breitbart and Bannon is thinner than anti-Trump righties would like to believe. If you don’t like the #WAR attitude from a Republican White House, at least don’t pretend that it’s all Bannon’s doing.

While a lot of Breitbart’s friends and admirers might share this belief that the difference between the late Breitbart and Bannon is a matter of ideology (i.e., nationalist vs. libertarian), I think that might be overstated. What Bannon brought to the Breitbart operation was the mentality of a guy from a blue-collar Irish-Catholic background with a seven-year Navy career and a Harvard MBA — a natural-born ass-kicker, a populist with a Reaganesque kind of Cold War patriotism. The first time I met Bannon, at RightOnline in 2011, he was promoting a documentary about Sarah Palin, the populist darling of the Tea Party movement. The  “nationalist” label has been invoked by the Left as a smear to imply that Trump has an affinity to Hitler and, seeing it applied to Bannon, I must ask: “How can a patriotic American populist avoid this insulting comparison?” Wouldn’t today’s elite media also make such claims against Democrats like Andrew Jackson and Harry Truman? Can anyone oppose the Soros-funded progressive Left and escape being smeared as a Nazi?

Yes, Breitbart was arguably more “libertarian” than Bannon, but that’s not the real distinction between them. Breitbart was Hollywood, and Bannon is Norfolk, Virginia. That is to say, Breitbart’s political attitudes were formed in opposition to the decadent snobbery of the show-business elite, and his playful sense of mischief — his gifts as a prankster and entertainer — reflected that background. Steve Bannon came from an earlier era (born in 1953, whereas Breitbart was born in 1969) and his attitude is of a guy from a working-class background who succeeded in highly competitive environments — Virginia Tech, the U.S. Navy, Georgetown, Harvard, Wall Street.

A lot of people who worked with Breitbart resented Bannon’s old-school Vince Lombardi/George Patton kick-ass-and-take-names approach. Steve Bannon is not a guy who gives a damn about your hurt feelings, OK? No, ma’am, Steve Bannon is about winning,  He’s the guy that Mitch and Murray send to tell you that first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado, second prize is a set of steak knives, and third prize is you’re fired.

“Put that coffee down. Coffee’s for closers only.”



Winning is about teamwork, and every team needs a Steve Bannon — someone who’s willing to be Blake from downtown, or Andy Sipowicz, the angry Bad Cop in the interrogation room. You may not like that guy, but his job is not about being liked, it’s about getting results. The addition of Steve Bannon to the Breitbart team freed Andrew Breitbart of the onerous responsibility of being the Bad Cop, the guy who said, “No.” The question of what Andrew would have thought of everything that went on at the past five years, or what Andrew would say about Trump, must be forever moot. Many people have claimed to speak as the rightful inheritors of Andrew’s vision, but that’s above my pay-grade. My understanding of Bannon’s role at, and his subsequent ascent to power in the Trump White House, is constructed from inferences based on evidence in the public record, secondhand anecdotes and my own direct observation. The first time I met Andrew Breitbart nearly 10 years ago, at CPAC 2007, I hung out with him in his hotel room at the Omni Shoreham, listening to him talk until 4 a.m., while his roommates Evan Sayet and Joel Mowbray were trying to sleep. Andrew was an inspirational genius whose untimely death was an irreparable loss to the conservative movement, and all any of us have done the past five years is what little we could to keep burning the flame that he ignited.

So now Steve Bannon gets on the phone from the White House and tells the New York Times they’ve suffered a “humiliating defeat,” and the reporters are obliged to quote Bannon’s words verbatim, and you ask me what Andrew would think? Oh, I can hear Andrew laughing loudly.

“Put that coffee down.” The media is losing, and America is winning.




One Response to “Steve Bannon, Andrew Breitbart and the ‘Humiliating Defeat’ of the Elite Media”

  1. The Baylor Varsity Rape Team : The Other McCain
    January 28th, 2017 @ 5:18 pm

    […] “PUT THAT COFFEE DOWN.” […]