News & Politics

Any doubt about Trump’s embrace of the extreme right is now gone

Imagine2050 Staff • Aug 18, 2016

On Wednesday, Donald Trump announced the hiring of Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen Bannon to run the campaign. Breitbart News has strong ties to the organized anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim movements and has reliably served as the most prominent media platform for both.

In print and as a sponsor of events like the “uninvited” conferences at CPAC, Breitbart has long provided significant visibility for nativist leaders. Donald Trump’s campaign has been the latest and most visible beneficiary of this practice, and now he is returning the favor.

Unbiased reporting has never been a requirement, let alone a priority at Breitbart, but under Bannon’s leadership, the outlet has effectively turned into an outright propaganda arm of the Trump campaign. Breitbart’s own reporters have lamented this, with some resigning as a result.

Media Matters for America published a critical take where we weighed in on this decision that has reduced the distinction between Trump’s campaign and the extreme right to virtually zero.

Media Matters reports:

“Breitbart News consistently provides a platform for extremist voices, most notably anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim figures. But since 2015, Breitbart has gone one step further — championing the racist rhetoric of the alternative-right while at the same time singing the praises of Donald Trump,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. She added, “Trump’s move to hire Breitbart’s Steve Bannon is not surprising considering the media outlet’s steadfast support of the GOP nominee. With this move, the line between Trump and the extreme right has just gone from fuzzy to virtually non-existent.”

Lindsay Schubiner, senior program manager at the national research and advocacy organization Center for New Community, also highlighted how Breitbart News “has provided a high-profile outlet for virulently nativist individuals for years.” According to Schubiner, “With Bannon now at the helm, Trump is likely to double down on his provocative and openly bigoted appeals for support. Bringing Bannon on board can be seen as a clear rebuke of RNC officials’ efforts to encourage Trump to moderate his tone in the pivot to the general election.”

She concluded, “In other words, Bannon’s hire represents a full-stop embrace of the dangerous and virulent nativism on which Trump has predicated his campaign since day one.”

Center for American Progress Action Fund senior fellow Henry Fernandez raised questions about Breitbart’s embrace of the “alt-right” movement, “an extremist branch of conservatism that includes white nationalists and anti-Semites,” and said the Bannon hire “may indicate a willingness to further engage with these groups.”

Read the full post here.

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