Whenever you hear about a right-wing conspiracy theory somehow making its way into the mainstream of political dialogue, there’s a good chance that Breitbart News had something to do with it.
Never heard of Breitbart News? It’s a fringe website where there’s no opinion too ugly, too divisive, or too outright crazy to be worth breathless promotion.
The one about President Obama being a secret Muslim born in Kenya? Breitbart was all over that “story.”
Or maybe you heard about the time they attacked an opponent — a conservative Republican, no less — by calling him a “renegade Jew.”
Why does this matter? Donald Trump just hired Breitbart’s executive director to be his new campaign CEO.
Now, we’ve had a conservative media in this country for a while. I don’t always like what they have to say, but I respect their role and their right to exist. Breitbart is something different.
They make Fox News look like a Democratic Party pamphlet. They’re a different breed altogether — not just conservative but radical, bigoted, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic conspiracy peddlers who never have been and never should be anywhere near the levers of power in this country.
But Donald Trump just gave them a broad new mandate to shape his campaign, his message, the future of the Republican Party, and quite possibly the country.
Bannon is dangerous. He has experience with manipulating the media as well as with fomenting right-wing conspiracy theories. His presence will likely cause a spike in Trump’s polling numbers. Hopefully, that will be short-lived as we will start showcasing his racist and xenophobic character.