Patterico's Pontifications

8/17/2016

Ah, Trumpers! You Never Fail to Amuse

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:49 pm

“Says who?”

I’m not sure if this one is funny or terrifying. I think both.

Thanks to Ben Howe for both.

That Time Trump’s New Campaign Executive Told Me to Go Fuck Myself

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:22 am

As noted below by Dana, Breitbart.com’s Steve Bannon has joined Trump’s campaign. The New York Times reports:

Donald J. Trump has shaken up his presidential campaign for the second time in two months, hiring a top executive from the conservative website Breitbart News and promoting a senior adviser in an effort to right his faltering campaign.

Stephen Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, will become the Republican campaign’s chief executive, and Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser and pollster for Mr. Trump and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, will become the campaign manager.

Steve Bannon is . . . not a fan of mine, as you are about to learn. I have never fully told this story publicly, but now seems like a good time.

Back in 2012, Breitbart.com ran a post designed to embarrass Bono from U2. The centerpiece of the post was a video in which ambush artist Jason Mattera confronted “Bono” with some questions about his financial dealings. “Bono” not only denied having anything to do with his own businesses, but even denied being the singer for U2!

Fun story. Just one problem: as Mattera later admitted, he had actually confronted a Bono impersonator, mistakenly thinking it was Bono.

Once it became obvious that the post was garbage, Breitbart.com took it down, with no explanatory note. New York Magazine later asked editor Joel Pollak about it, and Pollak said he could “neither confirm nor deny” that the post had been taken down due to a case of mistaken identity.

I wrote a post criticizing Breitbart.com’s lack of forthrightness in acknowledging their error. As I said:

Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. But people carefully watch how you handle mistakes.

The right way to do it is to quickly, forthrightly, and thoroughly admit error — to move to correct the error, apologize, and explain how it happened.

The wrong way is to pretend it never happened, and to lawyer it up.

. . . .

I’ve met and spoken with Joel Pollak, and he seems like a smart man, and I’m sure he has the best interests of Breitbart.com at heart. But this is not how you handle it when you make a mistake. You gotta say: hey, we screwed up. At matters stand now, the biggest mistake in this affair was made, not by Mattera or his editor, but by Pollak.

My criticism did not go over well with Steve Bannon, the executive chairman at Breitbart News. The next day, a Breitbart staffer told me this in a Google chat:

I was told by Bannon — with Larry listening — to tell you, from them
Fuck you, go fuck yourself — you’re the enemy and a backstabber
And you’re dead to them
that’s a quote — and I was told to go tell you

(“Larry” is Larry Solov, the co-founder of Breitbart.com.)

So, to sum up, when Breitbart.com made an error, they first tried to pretend it hadn’t happened. Then, when called on it by an honest critic, Steve Bannon declared that critic the “enemy” and told him to go fuck himself.

He’s perfect for Donald Trump.

UPDATE: Larry O’Connor has some good questions about how long Bannon has been talking to Trump, and how those conversations might have influenced coverage of Trump at Breitbart.com. Apparently Bannon had been talking to Trump for months, advising him about how to run his campaign, even as Bannon headed a “news” site that covered Trump regularly. O’Connor says Andrew Breitbart was against such incestuous relationships between media and politicians, and that Breitbart.com has a lot of explaining to do. It’s hard to disagree.

Trump Campaign Hires Breitbart Chariman

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:27 am

[guest post by Dana]

It’s not surprising that this decision was made:

Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon and GOP strategist Kellyanne Conway are now running Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign.

Bannon is the newly installed campaign CEO, while Conway, who first joined Trump’s team in July, has been promoted to campaign manager.

A former investment banker and advisor to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Pain, Bannon is widely known for helping crafting Bretibart’s vision as a pro-Trump, anti-GOP establishment outlet that’s unafraid to run stories with a conspiratorial bent. Under Bannon, Breitbart has also led the anti-immigration charge that Trump has embraced wholeheartedly in his campaign.

It’s thought that Bannon will tap into Trump’s aggressive and combative nature that we’ve seen on the campaign trail:

Untitled

Trump’s statement this morning:

I have known Steve and Kellyanne both for many years. They are extremely capable, highly qualified people who love to win and know how to win.

I believe we’re adding some of the best talents in politics, with the experience and expertise needed to defeat Hillary Clinton in November and continue to share my message and vision to Make America Great Again.

This comes on the heels of the Paul Manafort-Ukraine kerfuffle, Trump saying that he does not want to pivot, learning that Roger Ailes is advising the Trump campaign, sinking poll numbers, and Hillary’s misdeeds being studiously ignored by Big Media.

Oh, and Steve Bannon has never run a political campaign.

–Dana


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