After getting kicked out of the Trump Administration and his right-wing news website Breitbart, Steve Bannon is now touring Europe fomenting populist discontent.
In recent weeks Bannon has toured Europe, getting to know European far-right leaders. For example:
- In Zurich Tuesday he had a meeting with top people from Germany’s populist AfD party. (The AfD party made big gains in the 2017 German federal election with a very strong anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim platform.)
- In Italy populists won over 50% of the vote in recent elections, and Bannon has been complimenting the success of the Lega Nord and Five Star parties.
- He is planning to meet Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban, a strong populist, at a later time.
- French National Front leader Marine Le Pen met Bannon at her party’s convention in the French city of Lille on Saturday. It was rumored that Bannon would be allowed to speak at the convention.
And now it is being reported that Bannon is considering purchasing an outlet like Newsweek or starting a new media brand with a focus on global news and populist issues.
Bannon told The New York Times that he wants to create a European media network, modeled on Breitbart, to spread populist ideology. His dream is to have an army of what he calls social media “foot soldiers.” “All I’m trying to be,” he said, “is the infrastructure for the global populist movement.”
Bannon said that European populist movements have great demand for a news website with populist content similar to Breitbart’s.
“They see what Breitbart did and now they want to see it in their own language,” he said. “That’s the key. Right now my sites are in English, they want one in their own language.”
“Whether I do it or a local entrepreneur does it … there are going to be these populist nationalist news sites that pop up in the next year on line. That will only take these things to the next level,” he told the Times.
Breitbart News took a very strong populist position in recent years and has pushed right-wing content aimed at attacking American “globalists” for undermining the United States’ economic interests. Bannon and Breitbart also strongly promoted the presidential campaign of Donald Trump and are considered to have played a significant role in helping him get elected.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.