did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Fall Festival

1

This genuinely puzzles me. David Remnick doesn't seem to be an idiot, and he has to know these other famous people better than me -- and yet as soon as I heard about Bannon being the headliner, I was sure a lot if not all of those other participants would pull out in response. How could he not have known this would happen?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 6:40 AM
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Did he just want publicity and didn't care? At least I never knew the event existed prior to this.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 6:43 AM
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2: Yes, that's the only explanation that makes sense, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. I would think his own reputation and the reputation of the New Yorker would be worth a little more than a day of trending on Twitter.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 6:53 AM
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I think there's a genuine underlying journalistic dilemma that the respectable media still haven't worked out. I say entirely unironically: Bannon is one of the essential intellectuals of our age. What do you do with him?

Well, okay, we know the answer: You shun him, just as decent institutions keep their distance from guys like John Yoo.

But journalists (and others) haven't yet figured out the historical moment we occupy, and they think the old rules still hold.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 6:54 AM
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4: I was reading the blog of a writer this morning on this. The writer in question used to be a journalist and speculated that Remmick was thinking as a journalist rather than an event organizer. That is, he was thinking of Bannon primarily as someone he wanted to interview and imagined that he would be able to grill him with tough questions once he was on stage.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 7:23 AM
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This article helps explain it a little. These live-events are becoming a major source of revenue for publications.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/09/the-new-yorker-festival-invited-steve-bannon-and-then-canceled-why.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 7:28 AM
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5: But, how could he not stop for a moment and think about the optics? "I'm inviting Steve Bannon to headline the New Yorker Festival!" "Um, maybe that doesn't sound good?"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 7:31 AM
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I had previously had a fairly high opinion of Remnick, at least among similar intelligent-journalisty-yet-elite-embubbled types, which has needless to say now entirely evapourated. But I was genuinely surprised at the news than Bannon had been invited. Even though I basically agree with 4.1, Bannon is nonetheless not actually that smart and I feel pretty satisfied that we've already heard all he has to say and that if ever there were a not-as-smart-as-he-thinks racist who needs 'deplatforming,' it's the motherfucker who's been touring Europe trying to fan up fascism here, now that he's done helping to endanger democracy and civil order in the US. There is no possible argument he could have with Remnick that would yield to us any value and the best thing for the entire world is that we never hear another word from him or any other literal, actual fascists, and I can't believe Remnick couldn't see this.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 7:35 AM
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That is, he was thinking of Bannon primarily as someone he wanted to interview and imagined that he would be able to grill him with tough questions once he was on stage.

Has there ever been a tough interview on a stage at a festival? Or on a stage at all? If he was really intending to do this it's admirable, but he has to realize how unlikely it seems. And even doing that would also work for Bannon's propaganda because surely every other invited guest would be given a celebrity junket interview or bland panel conversation.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 7:56 AM
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9: I just saw that someone asked Monica Lewinsky if she was still expecting an apology from Bill Clinton, and she walked out on the interview. I believe that was on a stage in a festival.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:03 AM
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I assume - as in many other such cases - that he thought that he'd be able to 'control' the interview by the power of his sheer intellect and subtle put downs.

As a tactic this rarely if ever works - and in this case would have resulted in nothing more than preaching to the converted - Bannon's supporters would see him triumphing over a member of a liberal global elite.


Posted by: chris s | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:09 AM
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Or he cynically hoped Bannon would get nazi-punched, letting him bask in publicity and sweet, sweet outrage.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:10 AM
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10: right. in this context you're likely to get either pablum, or else hecklers. neither is going to be enlightening.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:11 AM
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Preaching to the converted is a well-tested promotional strategy, used successfully by many media outlets including Bannon's.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:12 AM
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14: Also, almost all actual preachers.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:25 AM
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They don't need pageviews as much.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:26 AM
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It's never as good now that the snake handling is gone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:26 AM
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I bet I could refute 17 with mere minutes of searching, but I honestly I don't want to know.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:28 AM
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Snake handling is still around!

https://eu.tennessean.com/story/news/religion/2018/09/02/life-inside-documentary-snake-handling-church-cody-coots/1116357002/
A sympathetic and unintentionally hilarious writeup...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:34 AM
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Fascism is not an idea. Perfect one-sentence tonic to the utter gormlessness of American "objective" journalism in the face of neo-Nazis.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:39 AM
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Maybe Remnick wanted to hasten the rise of fascism so it can fall and he can write Bannon's Tomb.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:40 AM
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You could extend what we say about Bannon to the President himself, of course, which maybe explains the dilemma. The government is partly controlled by people with ideas that are beyond the pale; people who consistently poll out at 40+% and still have a good chance at retaining 3 branches of government in the fall. I don't know how, in a democracy, you can actually just ignore the ideas controlling gov and policy. But I also don't think engaging those ideas leads to good outcomes either. That's the dilemma-ish part of the dilemma.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:40 AM
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9: I agree that if that was Remmick's idea it was wishful thinking. I don't buy Bannon's promotional public image as some sort of Machiavellian super genius, but anyone who's been around the media/talk show/lecture circuit as long as he has is unlikely to be thrown off balance by some hostile questioning.

Now if Remmick had arranged an event involving Bannon, Monica Lewinsky, and snake handling, that might have been something worth seeing.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:40 AM
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23. And Alan Dershowitz, otherwise he will pout.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:48 AM
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I think I'd fire Remnick to save the New Yorker at this point. It's worth saving. I hate it often, but as a worthy opponent I don't want to downgrade quite yet.


Posted by: Lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:52 AM
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The Economist did it too, per Laurie Penny (who promptly withdrew her attendance, because unlike David Remnick and that beautifully-maned idiot Malcolm Gladwell she understands where we are in 2018): https://twitter.com/PennyRed/status/1036590476009320448


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:55 AM
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Ronan Farrow makes it worth saving.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:55 AM
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22: Engaging ideas doesn't necessarily involve engaging with the people who hold them, beyond determining what it is they believe. Bannon has already made his beliefs clear, and also made clear that he has no interest in evaluating those ideas objectively. Talking to him or his ilk thus yields nothing. If the New Yorker wants to engage the ideas (which it should) then it should have panels with scholars who have studied the alt right.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:56 AM
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23 is a great idea. Remnick introduces Bannon and then Lewinsky hands him a poisonous snake.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:57 AM
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I could imagine inviting Bannon on condition that the format be hostile interrogation under bright lights in a glass booth, in an amphitheater so the audience is above rather than below him.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:58 AM
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31

"These used to be restricted, but someone dismantled the administrative state."


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 8:58 AM
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From 19: ""Serpent-handling churches are not all about serpent handling. It's only one small part of what they do," Hood said"

This reminds me of JK Galbraith's snark in The Great Crash about Wall Streeters trying to downplay the importance of speculation to their business.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 9:01 AM
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Technically, every time you walk by an ugly house and wonder, "What were they thinking?" you're a real estate speculator.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 9:09 AM
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34

As someone pointed out elsewhere, Jimmy Fallon pulling out after Bannon was disinvited is peak Fallon.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 9:14 AM
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35

I'm beginning to wonder if there's some way to make money from scheduling events that never take place and just consist of several rounds of invitations, disinvitations, and angry cancellations over the various invitations and disinvitations.

There's enough of this stuff going on that it seems like there must be a way to monetize it somehow.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 9:22 AM
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36

Only works for musicals.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 9:23 AM
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35: it would be quite a good way to mount a DDOS attack against a certain sector of the intelligentsia. Keep them so busy accepting invitations, writing speeches, pulling out in disgust, and giving interviews about why they've pulled out, that they never have time to do anything else.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 9:25 AM
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35: It might be a way for someone like Bannon to make a living out of cancellation fees.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 9:27 AM
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@35 Have a front organisation invite and then dis-invite you to raise the profile of the real media event that you plan on doing for the faithful.

Exploit the hell out of the merch opportunities - Viagra, health pills and so on.

The 4HWW applied to extremism.


Posted by: chris s | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 9:27 AM
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Like that time I got paid by Nichole Cliffe not to write an article about middle-aged male librarians and the MeToo Movement.

Admittedly this didn't actually happen, but it totally could of.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 9:30 AM
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||

OT, but this is a headline in the Local section of today's Washington Post:

"Fisherman accidentally shoots himself in head with spear gun in Md."

Carry on.

|>


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 9:34 AM
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The Slate article is insightful into what journalists are thinking here, both in the ways it's right and the ways it's wrong. I think the key bit is:

"But one gets the feeling Remnick was addressing that part of his statement toward the alarming number of news consumers who view any airtime or page-space as the gift of a "platform," making little distinction between sunlight and free publicity."

It's clear from this that the author basically agrees with inviting Bannon and hasn't seriously wrestled with the fact that very often journalists are tricked into giving free publicity when they think they're giving sunlight.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: “Pause endlessly, then go in” (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 9:41 AM
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43

#KavaNOPE thread?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 9:58 AM
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42: I think it's clear from the next paragraph that the author does not agree with Remnick.

But the event's many vociferous critics sensed what Remnick apparently did not: Sitting onstage at a festival is different from sitting for a profile or a radio interview. Remnick, a sharp critic of the president, would surely not have treated the supposed architect of Trumpism gently. But in a way, it wouldn't have mattered. Remnick would be sitting across from Bannon in a lushly appointed theater that would have conveyed all the institutional credibility of the New Yorker upon the man onstage. The questions might have been unsparing, even aggressive, but the packaging would be unavoidably friendly. It would be like running a tough piece of investigative reporting with a slobbering headline and a sexy photo.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 10:07 AM
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35.1: Wasn't that essentially the model for a conservatives troll campuses non-event that didn't happen last year? I think it didn't happen at one of the UC campuses. Free speech week or something.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 10:24 AM
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I could imagine inviting Bannon on condition that the format be hostile interrogation under bright lights in a glass booth, in an amphitheater so the audience is above rather than below him.

And instead of an interrogation, it's actually surgery. And they're implanting a uterus carrying a mixed race baby.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 10:29 AM
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His face always had such a waxy look I'm sort of surprised he's not dead by now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 10:31 AM
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43: sure!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 10:33 AM
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45: Yeah, that was the second-round Milo thing at Berkeley that was mostly just Milo flailing by pretending that marquee names were invited. It certainly cost the campus a lot of security money to not host that event.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 10:36 AM
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I just came from forcing myself to turn away from the horrifying distraction of reading all the crazy shit people are starting to post from Woodward's book and never did I need a laugh more so thank you Heebie for 46 which made me snort.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 10:38 AM
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50: You could imagine Woodward not fucking this story up. A lot of "respectable" folks have axes to grind with Trump. Please tell me he didn't fuck this up.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 10:44 AM
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51:

From another headline in today's Washington Post:

"Aides routinely stole documents off President Trump's desk. Military leaders ignored the president's orders. And the backstabbing went both ways. A forthcoming book by Bob Woodward paints a harrowing portrait of the Trump presidency, based on in-depth interviews with administration officials and other principals."


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 11:00 AM
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52: So no news it it then.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 11:03 AM
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Holy shit, that WP article about Woodward's book is something else.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 11:03 AM
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Vox:

The pro-free speech Foundation for Individual Rights in Education keeps a database of speaker disinvitations from campuses. It finds only a handful of disinvitations -- somewhere between 20 and 42 -- in every year between 2011 and 2017. The highest single-year spike, from 21 in 2015 to 42 in 2016, is mostly the work of one provocateur [Milo Yiannopoulos] launching an intentionally inflammatory college tour.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 11:40 AM
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51: I'm ambivalent. I don't think he fucked it up precisely, it's just that we already knew things were this bad, all he's providing is more vignettes on the same theme.

As JMM said: "Biggest revelation in Woodward book is that Trump balled out Sessions, telling him, "Stop indicting people we need to hold control of the House!" ... oh wait, that was a tweet."

This is pretty interesting too.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 11:42 AM
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44: Certainly the author has a minor disagreement with Remnick, but from my point of view its what they agree on that's the root of the problem. And the fact that a journalist *who is trying to write a piece disagreed with Remnick* can't help but defend him on the essentials is illuminating.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 3:59 PM
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||
Cannibal Holocaust and Tampopo:
Two movies that feature people butchering a live turtle.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 6:10 PM
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56 is sort of my thought. But if I guess if someone says it to Bob Woodward, it comes into official notice and is therefore harder to deny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 6:37 PM
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You only get that kind of in-depth reporting to prove that you're fucked in the head if you're a white, male Republican. Nobody was writing a whole book to convince people that the Symbionese Liberation Army was poorly grounded in reality and dangerous.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 6:41 PM
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So, when Trump dies in 5 or 10 years, probably from a stroke over something on Fox news, are there going to be a lot of centrists and liberals whining about how we have to respect the dignity of the office, even if he never did? All this McCain nonsense, faugh!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 6:42 PM
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I cannot fucking wait to hear that Trump is dead.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 7:31 PM
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63

Elon Musk is really going all in on his libel of that expat British caver.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 10:40 PM
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+ ||
|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 4-18 10:40 PM
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I feel like one key point always gets left out of this discussion. Was Bannon appearing for free? I assume no, that he was getting paid by the New Yorker to appear. If so, then the "free speech absolutists" are arguing that it is the God-given right of Nazis to receive cash money to publicly advocate their Nazi ideas.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 5:33 AM
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Why buy the cow when you can get the spiteful racism for free?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 5:59 AM
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I have a disciplinary panel meeting coming up in which I am supposed to penalize a student for possessing the exact same stuff I smoked all weekend long. It feels a bit hypocritical.


Posted by: LBJ | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 7:52 AM
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Young people haven't earned it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 8:02 AM
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Well, with Remnick dropping out, it's up to David Frum to save liberal democracy ....

https://www.munkdebates.com/The-Debates/The-Rise-of-Populism?utm_source=Munk+Debates+Members&utm_campaign=cbf5ab9c78-Populism_Debate_Anouncement_-_Members&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_401f5541e9-cbf5ab9c78-155038553


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 8:04 AM
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|| I have just discovered that the two largest pipelines transporting gasoline and other oil products from Texas to the eastern US are called the Colonial Pipeline and the Plantation Pipeline.
Seriously.
|>


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 8:32 AM
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Colons, taproots. Totally innocent I'm sure.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 8:52 AM
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If you want to find out about the secondary market in pipeline capacity on one of them, you need to look up "Colonial Line Space Trading" which is far less exciting and Heinleinish than it sounds.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 9:07 AM
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YOu have to remember that from an accountant's perspective, the difference between staged interviews at conferences and proper journalistic interrogations is that the stage show makes money. They are an increasingly important part of the revenue model for a lot of papers (ahem).

I would pay good money to read a proper Remnick interview with Bannon. I think that he is a loathsome fascist, but that the job of a journalist is to make us understand that -- and to realise that under some circumstances we could be one of them ourselves. It's late, and I may be expressing myself badly. But there is a limit to outrage and gotv journalism, no matter how important that is. When you get a situation where 40% vote for fascism, it's an important job to show how it feels to be a fascist.

Just ignoring the bastards doesn't work forever. But of course a showbusiness type of interview is not the right place to explore them properly


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 1:47 PM
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YOu have to remember that from an accountant's perspective, the difference between staged interviews at conferences and proper journalistic interrogations is that the stage show makes money. They are an increasingly important part of the revenue model for a lot of papers (ahem).

I would pay good money to read a proper Remnick interview with Bannon. I think that he is a loathsome fascist, but that the job of a journalist is to make us understand that -- and to realise that under some circumstances we could be one of them ourselves. It's late, and I may be expressing myself badly. But there is a limit to outrage and gotv journalism, no matter how important that is. When you get a situation where 40% vote for fascism, it's an important job to show how it feels to be a fascist.

Just ignoring the bastards doesn't work forever. But of course a showbusiness type of interview is not the right place to explore them properly


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 1:47 PM
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YOu have to remember that from an accountant's perspective, the difference between staged interviews at conferences and proper journalistic interrogations is that the stage show makes money. They are an increasingly important part of the revenue model for a lot of papers (ahem).

I would pay good money to read a proper Remnick interview with Bannon. I think that he is a loathsome fascist, but that the job of a journalist is to make us understand that -- and to realise that under some circumstances we could be one of them ourselves. It's late, and I may be expressing myself badly. But there is a limit to outrage and gotv journalism, no matter how important that is. When you get a situation where 40% vote for fascism, it's an important job to show how it feels to be a fascist.

Just ignoring the bastards doesn't work forever. But of course a showbusiness type of interview is not the right place to explore them properly


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 1:47 PM
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Ok! I'll remember! Promise!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 1:49 PM
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Shit. I mean, obviously my opinion is the most important thing on the blog, but I didn't mean to emphasise this typographically. I can't even say I was on the phone.
NOt even drunk.
Just vehement with a mouse, I guess.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 1:49 PM
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Here, NW, Matt Taibbi agrees with you.

As a reporter, I absolutely want to interview Steve Bannon. I've got questions about a lot of the stuff in the Wolff book, and then also about how he conned reporters like me into thinking Trump was actually courting black voters in August and September of 2016, when what he was actually doing was baiting us into ridiculing the idea that Republican voters were interested in racial reconciliation.
Bannon understood that there was a big chunk of voters out there who would be more annoyed by East Coast press caricatures of them as racist hicks than they would be concerned about Trump's actual racism. The plan worked, and Trump recovered in the polls during the widely panned tour.
I'd love to ask about that, to get some insight into how easy they thought it would be to use me and my colleagues. I might learn a painful lesson. But something tells me that kind of questioning wasn't what Remnick had in mind.

Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 1:54 PM
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67: isn't the whole point of college to teach the upwardly mobile how to be discreet in their peccadilloes?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 5-18 2:08 PM
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