Magazine article The American Prospect

From the Editors

Magazine article The American Prospect

From the Editors

Article excerpt

Every August, my wife Joan and I spend a working vacation in the Berkshires. I edit articles, Joan prepares fall classes, and we listen to a lot of music. On Tuesday, August 15, an email came across my screen. Someone claiming to be an assistant to Steve Bannon was writing to say that Mr. Bannon wanted to meet with me. I called the White House extension. Amazingly, this was legit. I explained that I was on vacation, but I'd be happy to talk with Mr. Bannon by phone. An hour later he called.

Bannon had read a column of mine on China. He wanted to talk about trade policy, China policy, North Korea, and white supremacy. He said some wildly incautious things about his boss, his colleagues, and his strategy linking white nationalism to economic nationalism. Weirdly, he was trying to enlist me as a soulmate.

About five minutes into the call, it dawned on me that Bannon hadn't bothered to put the conversation off the record. So I just kept giving him plenty of rope. The rest, as they say, is history. The Prospect published my interview, the reporter became the story, this episode was the last straw, and Bannon lost his job.

My article, "Steve Bannon, Unrepentant," crashed our website. …

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