The Economist defends decision to invite Bannon to festival

Hollywood stars who realized they would be appearing at the New Yorker Festival along with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon threatened to drop out - prompting the magazine to cancel Bannon's role.

He may not have had a lot of choice, as one after another of the festival's celebrity invitees - including Jim Carrey and Judd Apatow - began to bail out in protest, and as New Yorker writers took to Twitter to make their displeasure known.

Patton Owalt also dropped out and suggested that the New Yorker replace him with right-wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos.

Bannon, the founder of Brietbart and former chief strategist of Donald Trump, is set to speak with New Yorker editor David Remnick at an event titled, "The Ideology of Trumpism", on October 5th.

Remnick said that interviewing Bannon wasn't the same as endorsing him. "The point of an interview, a rigorous interview, particularly in a case like this, is to put pressure on the views of the person being questioned". Mulaney expressed frustration with both Bannon's presence and the way the festival announced it, tweeting "T$3 his isn't James Baldwin vs William F Buckley".

'I've thought this through and talked to colleagues - and I've re-considered.

More news: White House Counsel McGahn leaving; key man in legal storms

"I've changed my mind", he added.

News of Bannon's inclusion was met with wide-spread criticism.

"Bannon? And me? On the same program?" asked Carey. "The main argument for not engaging someone like Bannon is that we are giving him a platform and that he will use it, unfiltered, to propel further the "ideas" of white nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, and illiberalism", Remnick wrote. This is PT Barnum level horse****. Had that interview taken place (or if it does yet), I imagine there still would have been an outcry, much as there was recently when NPR's Noel King interviewed a white nationalist organizer on air, but the outcry would have come after, not before, the event. "There is a better way to do this", he said, saying if he gets the opportunity, he will interview Bannon in a more traditional, journalistic setting and "not on a stage". And it was announced on a weekend just before tix went on sale'.

A number of attendees, including actor Jim Carey and presenter Jimmy Fallon, then said they would not attend.

Remnick had sought out Steve Bannon for a podcast interview, according to CNN's Reliable Sources.

Late Monday, Remnick announced that Bannon would not speak at the festival after all. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Remnick told the New York Times he meant to confront the man with tough questions and expected that the hostile audience would help put pressure on the guest.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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