Illustration by PAUL PICARELLI
FRESH AIR: Though six months have passed since Steve Bannon left his position as White House chief strategist, he continues to follow the drama inside the Trump administration. Journalist Joshua Green says the right-wing provocateur is particularly attuned to the #MeToo movement, which he has dubbed “the matriarchy.” Green notes that Bannon sees the movement as “an existential threat” not just to Trump, but also to Republicans in Congress.”Bannon, despite his many flaws, is a very shrewd analyst of American politics,” Green says. “And what he seemed so upset about was the power of this rising women’s movement.” Green profiled Bannon and explained his role in Trump’s election in his 2017 book, Devil’s Bargain. The paperback release of the book, available Tuesday, describes what Bannon has been doing since leaving the White House. MORE
NEW YORKER: Last month, the journalist Joshua Green watched the Golden Globes ceremony on television with Steve Bannon, a Trump ideologist and self-described nationalist “revolutionary.” Green’s book on Bannon, “Devil’s Bargain,” was among the best on the 2016 campaign, and now Green was in search of material for a preface to his forthcoming paperback edition. He got it. As the two men watched the awards show—the women dressed in black to commemorate the #MeToo movement and the downfall of the likes of Harvey Weinstein; Oprah Winfrey winning such sustained applause for her speech (“Their time is up!”) that she was soon fielding questions about a Presidential run—Bannon could not fail to see it in terms of Trump’s political future.
“It’s a Cromwell moment!” Bannon said. “It’s even more powerful than populism. It’s deeper. It’s primal. It’s elemental. The long black dresses and all that—this is the Puritans. It’s anti-patriarchy.” Bannon, whose history is hardly one of feminism, was stunned by the fervor of what he was seeing, and, charmingly, he spoke of it not as justice but as a threat of wholesale emasculation. “If you rolled out a guillotine, they’d chop off every set of balls in the room,” he said. MORE