Steve Bannon dropped from New Yorker Festival after outrage from speakers

But many questioned whether Bannon, someone who no longer works in the White House and whose sole claim to relevancy is getting this kind of media attention, is worth attempting to corner.

New Yorker editor David Remnick, who initially defended the decision to invite Bannon, issued a statement late Monday saying he had changed his mind and would interview him "in a more traditionally journalistic setting. and not on stage", the Guardian reports.

"Bannon? And me? On the same program?"

"To interview Bannon is not to endorse him", David Remnick said. "You can, too", New Yorker writer and fellow Pulitzer Prize victor Kathryn Schulz tweeted, followed by the magazine's email address.

A letter from Remnick, dated June 28, details the invitation to Bannon.

If Steve Bannon is at the New Yorker festival I am out. "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".

Author Roxane Gay pointed out that a publication with the prestige of The New Yorker seeming to welcome Bannon to the table, even for a contentious debate, only legitimizes him. I've thought this through and talked to colleagues - and I've re-considered. In a statement released on Twitter, David Remnick, the magazine's editor, said he had changed his mind after facing criticism on social media. As many have no qualms about calling Bannon a white supremacist, the sentiment was readily expressed that there was no reason to give him a panel and let him have a platform to espouse his views. But, instead, all these famous people, these New Yorker contributors, and these newly unsubscribed readers who shouted their disapproval are no different than the college students who scream that they do not want to be exposed to unsafe ideas every time Milo cons his way onto campus. Bridget Everett tweeted that she's out if Bannon is in, Jimmy Fallon simply wrote "I'm Out", and Mike Birbiglia and Bo Burnham also let it be known that they would not participate. He clearly planned to make this a tough, revelatory session.

Late Monday, Remnick announced that Bannon would not speak at the festival after all.

"I would like to invite you to sit down with me for an informal, free-ranging discussion of the political movements redefining worldwide and local politics". 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.

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

  • Kyle Peterson