So the press is just full of the news that Bannon has left Breitbart. What does it mean? What does it portend? And as usual, the result, at least on the talk shows this afternoon, emanates from an utter lack of comprehension of the subject, coupled with the kind of knee-jerk inside the beltway answers that are all we can ever expect from the mainstream press.
People who read this blog know that I have read Breitbart, along with most of the other major right wing websites, on an essentially daily basis for over a decade now. And based on this experience, let me tell you that Steve Bannon was terrible for Breitbart.
The day that Bannon seized on the notion that he could turn himself into a mainstream political power, he began systematically watering down the belligerence and the extreme views that gave Breitbart whatever appeal it ever had, both to its true-believer followers and to, shall we say, connoisseurs of lunacy such as Green Eagle. I found myself incorporating fewer and fewer things from Breitbart in my Wingnut Wrapup posts, because, in truth, it had become boring. By the end, I hardly ever found anything in Breitbart worth repeating.
Bannon sacrificed whatever it was that Breitbart had to offer in order to advance his own political fortunes, forgetting the most basic fact of right wing politics: no matter how dirty a game you play, there are always plenty ready to play a dirtier game than you, particularly at that end of the political spectrum. Under Bannon's stewardship, the blog was doomed to slip beneath the surface of the swamp, drowned by a hundred other blogs not encumbered with Bannon's new-found self interest. Getting rid of him can only be good for Breitbart. I suspect that the owners of the blog have known this for a long time, and would have been glad to have an excuse to rid themselves of their jacked-up henchman long before this. Well, they moved when they had the chance, and I doubt that it had anything to do with Trump or the Republicans or anything else except trying to rescue the brand, into which they have sunk tens of millions of dollars, from the ignominy of only being 95% crazy, and therefore of no interest to the wingnuts of this world.
It will be interesting to see what direction Breitbart takes, now that they have rid themselves of this guy.