Stephen K. Bannon: A Star is Born Thanks to Trump!
24 months ago, if I were to ask you who is Steve Bannon, many would have struggled to connect the dots. 12 months ago you may have vaguely heard of Trump hiring some outsider. Now, Steve Bannon is a household name. His seven-month internship as the White House Chief Strategist has given him the type of publicity and notoriety that the former investment banker and media executive could only have dreamt to obtain. And Steve Bannon’s association has progressed the movement of the alt-right further along than Richard Spencer could have ever accomplished in three life times. Hours after Bannon’s departure from his executive White House duties, he returned to his post as executive chairman of the right-wing media outlet Breitbart News.
After reported infighting with several noteworthy members of Trump’s inner circle like Jared Kushner, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, Dina Powell, and Gary Cohn, Steve Bannon has been replaced by General John Kelly. But before you pull out your hankies for Steven Bannon, let’s see how this all played out. A couple of day prior to him resigning/firing from his post as Chief Strategist, Bannon contacted a liberal new editor, Robert Kuttner, and gave a very telling account of his thoughts on North Korea and China. The most poignant aspect is that Bannon views was a direct contradiction to what Trump and the Whitehouse had put out to the media. This was Bannon going rogue. This was the type of stuff that “nonpolitically correct” mavericks do. But why would Steve Bannon use an identified liberal media outlet to express his viewpoints to the national audience. WHY? My best guess would be that Bannon did not want his views to be watered down. He wanted clear access and wanted to get his point across to an outlet that would not do him any favors. He wanted to strut into the hornet’s nest and prove to be politically incorrect and unapologetic; all while playing coy. Moreover, Bannon wanted to show what he could bring to the table in regards to traffic and audience. That media outlet, American Prospect, site crashed due to the traffic overload when word spread about Bannon’s comments. So how valuable would Steve Bannon be on the open market? To think that Bannon naively just opened up because he thought he discovered a liberal bedfellow is too hard to digest. Steve Bannon got what he wanted out of his White House gig; he obtained high level exposure. But, Bannon wanted back in the limelight. The muzzle that goes with being a part of the White House did not sit well with Bannon. Being a rebel does not work well within the confines of the White House’s walls. And Robert Kuttner’s American Prospectprovided the avenue that Bannon needed at the time. Conservative media host Rush Limbaugh has already predicted that Steve Bannon will be “Revered and Respected”. I will venture on to say that Bannon views that his market value is at its highest point right now and that he can be more impactful as the opinionated megaphone for the alt-right by way of Breitbart. He wants to change the narrative and outlook of the alt-right into a more sophisticated right wing movement. And he cannot do that playing second fiddle to Trump worrying about silly stuff like policies and strategy meetings. And today Breitbart…. Tomorrow??
But the major point here is that Steve Bannon wanted out and he was granted his release. Just like Carmelo Anthony wanting out as a NY Knick forward while wanting to maintain his financial contractual payment structure, Bannon aims to have his cake and eat it too. Bannon returns to Breitbart as the renewed face for the alt-right. And I fully expect to see Steve Bannon doing bigger and better things as times progresses. From Navy office to media executive, Steve Bannon has positioned himself to be the alt-right political rock star that will only pale in comparison to a man he admires, Ronald Reagan. And Bannon can thank Donald Trump for elevating his career.