Some time ago, in “Is Steve Bannon For Real? ‘When I Knew Him, He Just Wanted To Make A Buck’” we suggested that the man TIME magazine dubbed “the great manipulator” is actually not that much different from Alex Jones or any of the other false populist “prophets” that have endeared themselves to large swaths of the electorate.
That is, they are not who they say they are. They are simply charlatans attempting to capitalize politically and/or financially from the exploitation of uneducated Americans who have become disaffected with a world they believe has left them behind.
Bannon and Jones are the household names, but there are any number of lesser-known commentators, pundits, bloggers, etc. who have piggybacked on the same anti-globalist, xenophobic message which is packaged and served up neatly as a nationalistic agenda ostensibly designed to restore lost American “greatness.”
Implicit in the idea that these folks are exploiting people for personal gain is the notion that their followers are being deceived. The post linked above cites a piece that appeared in The New Yorker earlier this year. That piece paints a picture of a different Steve Bannon. As it turns out, Steve wasn’t always a brooding, populist with designs on usurping the establishment. Here’s an excerpt:
Stephen K. Bannon, who maintains a precarious hold over the nativist wing of the Trump White House, honed his skills in the art of conservative persuasion in the most liberal precinct of the American imagination, Hollywood. He became himself in the byways of the movie business. These days, Bannon is a dishevelled presence in the Oval Office, but he cut a different figure in Beverly Hills, where he looked the part of a Hollywood executive—fast-talking, smartly dressed, aggressively fit, carrying himself with what one former colleague described as an “alpha swagger.” He worked out of an impressive office on Canon Drive. He was passionate and knowledgeable about film, and boasted about his connections, his production credits, and his background in mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs. He was a Republican, but not dogmatic, and he tried not to let his political beliefs get in the way of his work.
Go figure, right?
Later, Bannon would attest that his transformation came when he watched his dad (Marty) lose out on an ill-timed sale of AT&T stock. It’s a truly laughable “origin” story the absurdity of which perhaps helps to explain why Steve couldn’t make it in Hollywood.
The overarching point for us when looking at these would-be populist “saviors” is that they are lying to people. They are not who they say they are. Alex Jones’ recent custody battle underscored that point – when push came to shove and his kids were on the line, Alex admitted that he is just “playing a character” for his audience.
Well given all of the above, we were highly amused with George Clooney’s latest comments about Bannon. Read the hard truth about Steve below, excerpted from a piece in Vulture that has been making the rounds over the weekend:
In this ever-changing world we call 2017, at least there are two constants we can always look to: George Clooney hates Donald Trump, and George Clooney hates Steve Bannon. He’s let his vast disdain for both men known ever since the inauguration, scoffing that our president is a bonafide member of the “Hollywood elite” with all of his acting credits despite advocating against this so-called tony group. But with Bannon, Clooney switches gears a bit and seems to enjoy taunting the ex–chief strategist about the many Hollywood failures Bannon has endured: Most prominently, the “Shakespearean rap musical about the L.A. riots” Bannon wrote that never made its way to the big screen.
And Clooney really wants you to remember that fun fact.
“Steve Bannon is a failed f*&%^ng screenwriter, and if you’ve ever read [his] screenplay, it’s unbelievable,” Clooney told a group of journalists at the Toronto International Film Festival. “Now, if he’d somehow managed miraculously to get that thing produced, he’d still be in Hollywood, still making movies and licking my ass to get me to do one of his stupid-ass screenplays.”
In fact, don’t expect Clooney to cool it on the Bannonian insults anytime soon. “I like picking fights. I like that Breitbart News wants to have my head,” he continued. “I’d be ashamed ten years from now if those weaselly little putzes, whose voices are getting a lot higher every week as this presidency starts to look worse and worse weren’t still [after me].”
There you go.
It looks like ol’ Steve isn’t the only one who “loves a good gunfight.”