Why Does the Media Insist on Helping Steve Bannon Act the Martyr?

As news consumers, we must be critical of the content presented to us and the motives behind its presentation. And as journalists, there is a responsibility to not just report but report responsibly. By elevating voices like Bannon’s without adequate scrutiny, NBC and ABC have failed in this regard.

This is not to say that Bannon’s words are entirely without value. Karl and Hillyard note early in their interviews that Bannon still has Donald Trump’s ear and regularly communicates with the presumptive Republican nominee. He can provide insight into what a second Trump administration will look like, should it come to pass. However, as Bannon pointed out during his interview with Karl, a good portion of that is already outlined in the Heritage Foundation’s 900-page Project 2025 document.

We already know what Bannon interviews tend to get us: lists of political enemies he’d like to see behind bars, a drumbeat of lies about the 2020 election results, and some scary stories about another Trump administration. I decided to talk to someone who spends a lot of time monitoring Bannon and his War Room show. Media Matters for America deputy director of rapid response Madeline Peltz is as close a thing to a Bannon expert as exists on the planet, and she was gracious enough to answer a few questions via email about these interviews. She wrote a really smart and thorough piece of her own on the MMFA website that’s worth checking out.

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Kim browne

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