New Yorker Festival Implodes Over Plans For Steve Bannon To Headline Event

The New Yorker made the announcement on Monday, and prominent Twitter users quickly attacked it.

Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon held a rally in rural upstate New York that no one attended. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The New Yorker announced on Monday that Steve Bannon, the nationalist former White House chief strategist, would be headlining the 19th edition of The New Yorker Festival. The plan was for David Remnick, the editor of the magazine, to interview Bannon onstage in front of an audience.

“I have every intention of asking him difficult questions and engaging in a serious and even combative conversation,” Remnick told The New York Times.

But soon after the announcement was made, prominent Twitter users attacked the decision and several top celebrities announced that they would not attend the festival. The New Yorker responded to the criticism saying they would look for another format to interview Bannon.

“I don’t want well-meaning readers and staff members to think that I’ve ignored their concerns,” Remnick said, according to Business Insider: “If the opportunity presents itself, I’ll interview him in a more traditionally journalistic setting as we first discussed, and not on stage.”

After The New Yorker dropped Bannon from the program, Bannon took the opportunity to call Remnick a coward and in turn criticize the celebrities who withdrew.

“The reason for my acceptance was simple: I would be facing one of the most fearless journalists of his generation,” Bannon told The Times. “In what I would call a defining moment, David Remnick showed he was gutless when confronted by the howling online mob.”

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