Culture

Honey Badger Lies through His Teeth

Steve Bannon speaks at a campaign event for Roy Moore in Fairhope, Ala., December 5, 2017. (Reuters photo: Jonathan Bachman)
Don’t believe Steve Bannon’s sleazy smear against NR.

Over the holidays, Steve Bannon accused our Jack Fowler of coming to him to beg for money. Since Bannon generates a trail of sleaze wherever he goes, it shouldn’t be surprising that this is a flagrant lie.

Some background: As everyone knows, Bannon proudly backed Roy Moore even after the kooky Alabama Senate candidate was credibly accused by multiple women of preying on them when they were teenagers. The propaganda apparatus of Breitbart kicked in to back Moore to the hilt and try to discredit the accusers. This was a disgraceful effort by any standard. Surely, even some of the writers and editors pumping out this tripe knew Moore was guilty and knew what they were doing was shameful. We don’t have to speculate about this, because, amazingly enough, the editor-in-chief of Breitbart, Alex Marlow, told CNN in an interview that he thought Leigh Corfman, who said Moore fondled her when she was 14 years old, had “a lot of credibility.”

Marlow thus violated what I would think is the first rule of covering for an abuser of teenage girls: Don’t admit that you’ve been covering for an abuser of teenage girls. David French pointed this out in a Corner post, which really bothered Marlow. Listen to his aggrieved ramblings in this audio clip, where he says French lied about him — even though David just quoted the CNN story and Marlow never truly explains what’s wrong in that CNN story. It’s in the course of this conversation that Bannon, in effect, tells Marlow, “Let me demonstrate the true Breitbart way to you, kid,” and attacks Jack Fowler for badgering him for money (and also attacks David French’s wife — because, hey, this is Steve Bannon).

Of course, Bannon was simply trying to come up with something malicious to say. Jack and Bannon did meet in early 2016, a polite first-time meeting during a period when the Right was riven by the extremely divisive GOP primary fight. At no time did Jack ask for money or help identifying donors. This would have made no sense, since Bannon and his minions were constantly attacking NR at the time. Also, Jack is a person of integrity and would rather jump off a bridge than have any association with Steve Bannon.

In the above audio clip, Bannon portrays himself, as he always does, as the ultimate Trump supporter. But let’s review the last year:

‐Trump’s White House almost sank early in 2017 from its own poisonous dysfunction, with Steve Bannon’s self-serving campaigns against his colleagues playing an outsized role.

‐Bannon got fired for leaking, the final straw coming when he called a left-wing journalist at The American Prospect out of the blue and undercut Trump’s North Korea policy.

There are evil geniuses; then there are sleazy hacks who believe their own press. Guess which one Steve Bannon is?

‐Since Bannon is about Bannon, upon his departure he declared the Trump administration “over,” when actually the administration was just beginning to get its footing with General Kelly in charge and Bannon kicked to the curb.

‐Bannon’s contribution to the tax debate, which produced Trump’s foremost legislative accomplishment, was to agitate for a top income-tax rate higher than even Obama tried to impose. Trump disregarded this ill-conceived populist recommendation, advocated a lower top rate near the end of the debate, and got it.

‐Bannon went off and declared war on every sitting Republican senator except Ted Cruz, supposedly in the name of the Trump agenda. His first horse out of the gate was Roy Moore, a catastrophically flawed candidate who managed to lose in Alabama, dealing a blow to the Trump agenda that no one else could have managed.

‐Bannon campaigned for Moore with one of his other favorite candidates, Paul Nehlen, yet another loathsome kook. Bannon has long believed that Nehlen should replace Paul Ryan, but Bannon’s man Nehlen was exposed as a rancid anti-Semite just as Bannon’s nemesis Ryan was succeeding in . . . passing the Trump agenda.

There are evil geniuses; then there are sleazy hacks who believe their own press. Guess which one Steve Bannon is?

READ MORE:

Trump Trashes Steve Bannon

Bannon Owns the Resistance for a Day

Dumping Bannon is one of Trump’s Best Moves

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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