Steve Bannon dropped from New Yorker Festival after outrage from speakers

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Bannon, a former strategist for Donald Trump's 2016 election run and an ex-chairman of Breitbart News, is among the most reviled people in the liberal political camp in the US.

The Economist came under fire for keeping Bannon on for the fall event after The New Yorker disinvited Bannon from its own fall festival on Monday.

Judd Apatow, Jack Antonoff, John Mulaney and Jim Carrey were among the high-profile attendees who pulled out of their scheduled events, the Times reported. I'm not so mad about it that I would ever cancel my subscription, but, as Malcolm Gladwell, one of the few New Yorker contributors to stand up for Bannon's invitation, said, "Call me old fashioned". "In what I would call a defining moment, David Remnick showed he was gutless when he was confronted by the howling online mob", Bannon said. "You can, too", New Yorker writer and fellow Pulitzer Prize victor Kathryn Schulz tweeted, followed by the magazine's email address. Still, by committing to have some kind of dialogue with Bannon in the future, Remnick, clearly, does not seem to think he's out of bounds.

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

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What happened with Bannon and the New Yorker Festival, though it may appear to be just another digital-age dust-up, is part of a much deeper media problem: the normalization of people and ideas that deserve only scorn - all done in the name of understanding and challenging them. I've thought this through and talked to colleagues, and I've reconsidered.

"The main argument for not engaging someone like Bannon is that we are giving him a platform and that he will use it, unfiltered, to propel further the "ideas" of white nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, and illiberalism", Remnick wrote in the statement. It's obvious that no matter how tough the questioning, Bannon is not going to burst into tears and change his views of the world.

"Bannon? And me? On the same program?" asked Carey. In a statement released on Twitter, David Remnick, the magazine's editor, said he had changed his mind after facing criticism on social media. Farrow took his report to The New Yorker, which published it seven weeks later, earning Farrow a Pulitzer and helping spark the #MeToo movement.

In the end, though, Remnick said the outcry led him to conclude there were better ways to engage with Bannon - who would have been paid an honorarium and other fees for taking part in the festival.

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