Steve Bannon Gave Republicans a Media Playbook, Will They Use It?
“Floyd Lee Corkins went on a shooting spree after reading the SPLC’s website, a crime they never disavowed.” This is all anyone should ever say when asked about the SPLC, and yet you don’t hear Republicans or even Trump himself put these domestic terrorist groups and their media enablers on their back feet.
Are Republicans ignorant of the SPLC’s connection to terror, or are they too afraid to call it out? Let this sink in. A man plead guilty to terrorism after being inspired by the SPLC to commit murder.
The Family Research Council shooter, who pleaded guilty today to a terrorism charge, picked his target off a “hate map” on the website of the ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center which is upset with the conservative group’s opposition to gay rights.
Floyd Lee Corkins II pleaded guilty to three charges including a charge of committing an act of terrorism related to the August 15, 2012 injuring of FRC’s guard. He told the FBI that he wanted to kill anti-gay targets and went to the [SPLC’s] website for ideas.
Why does no one talk about this? Why does the media cite the SPLC as a disinterested group when they incite terrorism?
The big lesson from Bannon’s appearance on 60 Minutes is to push back.
Steven Bannon made Charlie Rose admit that David Duke is the media’s creation. Watch this spectacular clip, which may be one of the most import media clips of the year.
Charlie Rose: What about David Duke?
Bannon: David Duke shows up for every media opportunity because you guys put the cameras on him.
Rose: [Gestures in self-defense] Well….But….Wait….
Why don’t Republicans, when asked about David Duke, flip the script and ask the media why they give saturation coverage to someone whose only platform is the media? The media promotes David Duke.
In a traditional media interview, the press asks questions. The person being questioned either answers the questions directly or evades them. But the power always lies with the media, and few understand how to flip the power dynamic.
During the 60 Minutes interview with Charlie Rose, Bannon repeatedly questioned the premise of the question, and called out media bias. For example when called a racist, Bannon replied:
“I don’t need to be lectured–by a bunch of– by a bunch of limousine liberals, okay, from the Upper East Side of New York and from the Hamptons, okay, about any of this. My lived experience is that.”
Why do Republicans let the media lecture and berate them? Why do they refuse to call out the media for heralding the SPLC as a hate watch group, when in fact the SPLC has inspired domestic terror?
Other than Steve Bannon, no major media figure has confronted the media for acting as scribes for Hillary Clinton and other high-profile Democrats.
In his own 60 Minutes interview, Mike Cernovich got Scott Pelly to admit he takes the Clinton campaign on its word, and does not independently investigate campaign officials:
Cernovich: She had a seizure and froze up walking into her motorcade that day.
Pelley: Well, she had pneumonia. I mean —
Cernovich: How do you know? Who told you that?
Pelley: Well, the campaign told us that.
Cernovich: Why would you trust the campaign?
Pelley: The point is you didn’t talk to anybody who’d ever examined Hillary Clinton.
Cernovich: I don’t take anything Hillary Clinton is gonna say at all as true. I’m not gonna take her on her word. The media says we’re not gonna take Donald Trump on his word. And that’s why we are in these different universes.
Republicans must never legitimize the SPLC, and must always remind the press that the SPLC inspired terrorism. Be more like Bannon. Let the press ask their questions, sure, but you have every right to ask questions of your own, and to push back against rigged and loaded questions.
And to really understand how to deal with the media, read this guide: