One of those so ranting and disintegrating all too publicly has been the deeply unpleasant figure of one Steve Bannon, an unrepentant white supremacist whose rise to prominence is so closely in lockstep with the Trump presidency. Bannon has, overnight, resembled an unfunny version of Chemical Ali, dismissing reality, and then demanding punishment.
And the punishment he demanded was beheading. Decapitation. Execution of two public figures pour encourager les autres. Madeline Peltz of Media Matters for America picked up on the moment when Bannon lost it. “Steve Bannon calls for Dr. Fauci and FBI Director Wray to be beheaded ‘as a warning to federal bureaucrats’”. She also noted that “[YouTube] prohibits ‘inciting others to commit violent acts against individuals’”.
Did Bannon really say that? It seems he did. Jon Favreau pointed out “I’m not going to share the video, but Steve Bannon called for the beheading of Dr. Fauci and FBI Director Chris Wray. Political reporters who still interview him and go to him for quotes like he’s a legitimate public figure: maybe stop doing that?” Not so legitimate now.
Also, this kind of hate speech would inevitably encourage others, as Tanja Bueltmann reminded her followers. "I'm won't share the actual video, but this is the moment Steve Bannon calls for Dr Fauci & FBI Director to be beheaded to ‘put their heads on pikes [... at] White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats’. Meanwhile, Trump supporters are outside vote counts with assault rifles”. While accusing others of intimidation.
The direct consequence of Bannon’s actions, though, was that, as Josh Russell noted, “Bannon’s twitter account suspended”. Then YouTube cut off his livestream and blocked the video. And finally, Bannon’s personal Twitter account was also suspended. But in the meantime, there are some in the Tory Party who should stop and think about this.
That’s because rather too many of them have been close to Bannon, even meeting with him and soliciting his advice. Those have included not only Jacob Rees Mogg, the member for times long past, but also, whisper it quietly, alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. It was after Bozo met Bannon that the infamous Telegraph column comparing Muslim women to “letterboxes” and “bank robbers” appeared.
Bannon is a bigot, a Muslim hater. His bigotry has already infected the upper echelons of the Tory Party. Now that he has gone over the top in no style at all, one has to wonder whether his pals in the UK will realise just who they were engaging with.
But then, maybe they will just hope no-one notices. Except that they just did.
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