The populist conservative movement owes a huge debt of gratitude to Steve Bannon for keeping hope alive after November 3. Here’s my new column at Real Clear Politics about “War Room: Pandemic” and how the MAGA movement is alive and well, thanks in large part to Bannon and Co. fighting the corrupt media narrative.
From Bannon’s ‘War Room,’ Real America Fights Back
By Frank Miele
If you’ve been canceled by social media, dismissed by Fake News or written off by Paul Ryan, don’t worry — there is still a home for you. Twice a day Monday through Friday, and again for two hours on Saturday, you are welcome to Steve Bannon’s “War Room” for entertainment, education and a crash course in taking back your country.
You certainly won’t be alone. There have been more than 50 million downloads of the podcast, but you can also watch the show live on the warroom.org website, the Real America’s Voice channel on cable or Internet, as well as on Rumbleand other social media outlets shortly thereafter. “War Room: Pandemic” has become the unofficial refuge for the MAGA movement and Trump supporters, and the best source of unbiased news on COVID-19, election integrity, and the border invasion.
You won’t find “War Room” on mainstream outlets like Twitter or YouTube, but last week the establishment media took notice for the first time of this up-start show hosted by a man who could justifiably be called the architect of the America First movement and the Trump revolution.
NBC gave Bannon, who was the CEO of Trump’s campaign in 2016, a surprisingly honest assessment as a potential power broker going into the 2022 election. The authors accurately noted “Bannon has his MAGA megaphone back,” although they liberally sprinkled their analysis with terms like “far right,” “false claims,” “Trumpism” and “radicalized” to try to marginalize Bannon and his audience as “dead-enders.”
But Bannon and his island of misfit toys wear that label proudly, just as the populist movement “embraced the suck” when Hillary Clinton tagged Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables.” Nary a day goes by when Bannon doesn’t call himself and his audience either deplorables, dead-enders or — his personal favorite — grundoons, a reference to the diapered baby groundhog invented by Walt Kelly in his satirical comic strip “Pogo,” which ran in newspapers when Bannon and I were both young. In each case, the label is turned on its head. Instead of being dismissive, it is inspirational. Hell, yes, Bannon insists, we are the common folk, the innocent ones, but we are uncommonly successful when we stick together in defense of liberty.
The importance of sticking together is one of the self-evident truths of “War Room.” In addition to co-host and cofounder Raheem Kassam, and regulars like Peter Navarro, the show features an ever-evolving cast of grassroots activists, populist politicians and everyday moms and dads who are fighting to end liberal domination of their schools, their streets and their statehouses. These are the ordinary Americans who are supposed to hold the power in a democracy, and their inclusion on the show exposes the lie that the MAGA movement is radical or racist. Bannon happily gives a platform to a wide variety of Black and Latino conservatives such as former Democrat Vernon Jones, who is running against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for the Republican nomination in 2022. It’s not about color; it’s about country, and about defeating the false narratives put out on a daily basis by the mainstream media.
It’s no accident that Bannon has a large-screen TV running CNN’s live programming behind his head during his broadcasts. Clips from CNN and MSNBC are the mother’s milk of the resentment that feeds the “War Room” audience and drives millions of viewers to the show on a daily basis. Video of Joe Scarborough angrily calling on patriotic Americans to leave the country and be replaced by illegal immigrants is so outrageous that it gets played day after day as fuel for Bannon’s own righteous indignation. Give him a breaking news story about Anthony Fauci, the Wuhan virology lab, or the Arizona election audit, and Bannon will break into a world-class rant about how the global power structure is trying to crush the little guy.
Last Wednesday, for instance, he regaled America’s mayor, Rudy Giuliani, with a classic firestorm of outrage at the way Giuliani had been mocked and ridiculed by the mainstream media last fall when he asked state legislatures and courts to take a serious look at the many anomalies that marred the 2020 presidential election.
“There’s only two things that matter, the 3 November movement, what happened on the third of November, and then what happened in the Wuhan lab. You get to the bottom of those two, everything else takes care of itself,” Bannon said, and with a quick survey of the evidence, he told his viewers that the truth is coming out, thanks to Giuliani’s work in those few weeks following the election.
“They ain’t laughing now. You know why they ain’t laughing now? What’s happening with the patriots in Arizona at the new Concord Bridge came from” Giuliani’s presentations of evidence at Gettysburg, Pa., and Phoenix months ago.
The Concord Bridge is one of the recurring metaphors heard on “War Room.” It references the “Shot Heard Round the World” when American patriots fired at the British redcoats back in 1775, and Bannon is convinced that the forensic election audit underway in Arizona is going to be the trigger that leads to a new revolution against the established order.
“You know who knows it?” he asked his audience. “The smart people at MSNBC and the New York Times. They’re scared to death and they’re in meltdown. … It took someone with courage [like Giuliani] to stand up. … You’re seeing it spread throughout the country. … You ain’t seen nothing yet. This [election audit] is going to Georgia. … It’s going to Pennsylvania, It’s going to Michigan. It’s going to Wisconsin, and guess what? When the evidence comes out, we’re then gonna have a discussion. OK, it’s pretty obvious what happened here just like it’s pretty obvious what happened in Wuhan.
“Remember, the same people that are lying to you and misrepresenting what happened in Wuhan are the exact same group of people that are lying to you about what happened on November third. Their lies on Wuhan are cratering around them even as we speak, and the lies about November third are cratering about exactly what volunteer patriots, the deplorables, are doing out on the deck plates in Arizona, and it will not be stopped. Inexorably it is going toward the truth, it is going toward the light, and you know why? Because the American people, who have never backed down in their history — in the Revolution, in the Civil War, in the Great Depression, in World War II, in the Cold War — yes, the common man and woman of this country that has never backed down (and is spread through patriot graves on battlefields all over this world) is not backing down on this.
“Here’s the problem with Rachel Maddow, the New York Times, CNN. … You can’t handle the truth, and you’re about to get your nose rubbed in the truth, because this is not going to stop.”
But don’t think Bannon is dismissive of the left wing’s heavyweights. He regularly gives credit to Maddow, Chris Hayes and Ari Melber on MSNBC for their stalwart defense of their progressive beliefs. Indeed, one of the reasons why Bannon has credibility that other members of the media lack is because he invites intellectual debate. He encourages his friend Mike Lindell, the MyPillow founder and noted election skeptic, to test his hypothesis of widespread fraud by answering the questions of left-wing icons like MSNBC’s Maddow or late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel.
He also seeks out common ground with Democrats himself. His conversations with feminist Naomi Wolf (pictured), a noted adviser of Al Gore in 2000, have raised hackles on both the left and right. Wolf has sounded the alarm about the modern Democratic Party’s embrace of totalitarian policies such as mask mandates and vaccine shaming. But more importantly, she has come to the same central conclusion as Bannon about how Big Tech and Big Politics are working to change America into a post-constitutional oligarchy.
“Americans are not stupid,” she said on a recent show. “Data is the new way to control everybody, and this unholy marriage of data and this health focus, this vaccine focus, is an incredibly, demonically brilliant way to control everyone.”
In some ways, Wolf as a Democrat can speak even more freely than Bannon about the danger she sees. Whereas Bannon can be written off as a right-wing kook, Wolf has nothing to gain by warning that, thanks to Democrat policies, the concept of “America” is already lost in a large swath of the country.
“I’m seeing as I travel to Washington state where I am right now, or Oregon where I was last week, or New York City, these are different countries than Idaho now. … As a lifelong Democrat I am sad to report this. When you drive through Idaho, it’s America. It’s the America I’ve always remembered and known. Wyoming, it’s America. Pretty much every red state you go to these days, it feels like America. And then there are states where there is a battle, like Michigan where there are people fighting to retrieve America, and a Democrat Party … moving in lockstep toward a kind of vaccine totalitarianism. It’s like a chessboard where people are trying to defend America, and other people are trying to impose this vaccine tyranny.
“And then I go to places like Washington state and Oregon, which are not America any more. They are some version of Beijing. They are some version of Poland in the 1980s — constant blaring notifications to keep your mask over your nose and mouth, that you’re violating federal law if you let your mask slip, little children over the age of 2 weeping and saying, ‘Daddy please, Mom, take off this mask, I don’t like it.’ Everyone afraid. Constant messages to ‘Vax up, vax up,’ which is now a verb. Signs on the freeways saying “Vax up.” And in New York City, it’s no longer the city I lived in. There are restaurants that say, ‘Vaccinated only.’ That’s no longer America. I don’t want to live there.”
Wolf finished her segment by calling “War Room” the “house of unflinching honest dialogue.” That about sums it up, and explains why the show is considered so dangerous by the progressive left that wants to shut down free thought and free speech. It’s Bannon and the ragtag band of deplorables against a well-funded army of the world’s most powerful corporations, politicians and billionaires. But if the Battles of Lexington and Concord taught us anything, it’s that the smart money doesn’t bet against the American rabble when their freedom is on the line. The Grundoons are on the march.
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