Steve Bannon, a sack of rotting beans stuffed inside some stitched-together skin, has been invited to speak at the upcoming New Yorker Festival.
According to the New York Times, Bannon joins an eclectic group consisting of the likes of author Haruki Murakami and activist Janet Mock, along with Jimmy Fallon, John Krasinski, Boots Riley, David Hogg Zadie Smith, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The festival, which takes place in New York City this year from October 5 to 7, tends to curry an interesting bag of speakers. But it’s not typically the kind of thing that tries to create controversy, which is why it’s confusing that Bannon, whose former appointment at the White House had neo-Nazis all a-twitter back in the day, made this year’s list.
New Yorker editor-in-chief David Remnick told the New York Times he plans to be very hard on Bannon. “I have every intention of asking him difficult questions and engaging in a serious and even combative conversation,” he said. But it’s not entirely clear why we need to hear Bannon speak in the first place. Before and after Donald Trump was elected, Bannon spoke openly about wanting to be an agent of chaos, and considered the success Trump’s campaign enjoyed when Bannon and his push to rile the white supremacists took over, in that, he’s succeeded.
And sure, I guess it’s fun to hear him spill tea on Trump’s unhinged administration, but welcoming into the fold the folks that helped champion this mess—Sean Spicer, Omarosa Manigault-Newman, Anthony Scaramucci—now that they’ve turned on their old boss out of political expediency, seems unpalatable, to say the least. I’m sure Bannon’s event will sell tickets, but he’s had enough opportunity to speak. Let’s move on and let him barnacle in peace.
We reached out to the New Yorker to see if they had any additional statement regarding Bannon’s invitation to the festival, and will update if and when we hear back.
Update: Bannon, out.