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NEW YORK (AP) — Facing widespread outrage, The New Yorker has dropped plans to interview Steve Bannon during its festival next month.
New Yorker editor David Remnick told The Associated Press in a statement shared Monday with the magazine’s staff that he had changed his mind. The former Donald Trump aide and ex-chairman of Breitbart News was supposed to be a featured guest during a prestigious gathering that over the years has drawn some of the world’s most prominent artists and public figures. This year’s guests include Emily Blunt, Zadie Smith and Sally Yates, who Trump fired as deputy attorney general after she refused to back his initial ban on travelers from Muslim countries. The ban was advocated by Bannon, a senior White House adviser at the time.
The article goes on to state the following:
“I’ve thought this through and talked to colleagues — and I’ve re-considered,” Remnick, who has repeatedly denounced Trump and his administration, wrote of his decision on Bannon. “There is a better way to do this. Our writers have interviewed Steve Bannon for The New Yorker before, and if the opportunity presents itself I’ll interview him in a more traditionally journalistic setting as we first discussed, and not on stage.”
The New Yorker’s announcement on Bannon came earlier Monday and was denounced by Roxane Gay, Jessica Valenti and many others. Gay tweeted that “the intellectual class doesn’t truly understand racism or xenophobia. They treat it like an intellectual project, where perhaps if we ask ‘hard question’ and bandy about ‘controversial’ ideas, good work is being done.” Filmmaker Judd Apatow had tweeted he would not attend if Bannon was interviewed. Kathryn Schulz was among the New Yorker staff writers who tweeted that they had informed Remnick directly about their objections.
Tweeted Patton Oswalt: “I’m out. Sorry, @NewYorker. See if Milo Yiannopoulos is free?” a reference to the far-right writer and speaker whose memoir was dropped last year by Simon & Schuster after numerous complaints.
In explaining his initial decision, Remnick wrote Monday that Bannon was well aware of their political differences. “The point of an interview, a rigorous interview, particularly in a case like this, is to put pressure on the views of the person being questioned.”
That is followed by: “Our writers have interviewed Steve Bannon for The New Yorker before, and if the opportunity presents itself I’ll interview him in a more traditionally journalistic setting as we first discussed, and not on stage.”
— Philip Gourevitch (@PGourevitch) September 3, 2018
The New Yorker has dropped plans to interview Steve Bannon at its annual festival. Judd Apatow and Patton Oswalt said they would not attend if Bannon did https://t.co/OxS9uCCANm
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) September 4, 2018
Facing widespread outrage, the New Yorker has dropped plans to interview Stephen Bannon during its festival next month. The former aide to President Trump and former Breitbart News chairman was supposed to be a featured guest during the gathering https://t.co/xIlQmKE3ut pic.twitter.com/yAORryo9B6
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) September 3, 2018
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