Unmasking Trump’s minister of propaganda Steve Bannon and his ‘Occupy’ film

Everyone has been asking me how Donald Trump can possibly thrive politically once his voters discover that what he said on the campaign trail was categorical bullshit. I respond by pointing out that people only know what they know, and what they know about Trump will be determined by a campaign of White House disinformation to rival Joseph Goebbels, abetted by a political media willing to serve uncomplainingly as its transmission belt. For instance, when the CIA reported its conclusion that the Russian government intervened to try to seal Trump’s victory, his transition team responded with a statement that said: “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history.” The Washington Post quoted it verbatim, like it was precipitation data from the National Weather Service—though in actual fact Trump’s Electoral College margin was in history’s bottom quartile.

Our media gatekeepers act like they’re unaware that our president has chosen as his chief strategist a fellow who’s made disinformation his political vocation, whom no less an authority than the late Andrew Breitbart once labeled the “Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party.” Though maybe I shouldn’t be so self-righteous. Until not too long ago, I’d forgotten that I’d seen Steve Bannon’s Triumph of the Will. Then I remembered, and watched it again—and my respect for anyone who’d take this White House on good faith plummeted below Dante’s ninth…

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