Steve Bannon, the Breitbart News-chairman-turned-White-House-chief-strategist, said in a Wednesday interview that the media “is the opposition party” for President Trump and should “keep its mouth shut.”
“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” he said in a phone interview with the New York Times.
“I want you to quote this,” he said. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country.”
Bannon railed against “the elite media,” whose failure to predict Trump’s election he called “a humiliating defeat that they will never wash away.” He told the Times that no “mainstream media” journalists who reported on Trump’s campaign were “fired or terminated,” apparently suggesting that they should have been, and decried them as “outright activists of the Clinton campaign.”
He did not name any specific members of the press in that diatribe, according to the report.
Bannon also dismissed questions about White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s contentious relationship with the press. The Times noted Bannon initiated the phone call in order to talk up Spicer.
“Are you kidding me?” he told the Times. “We think that’s a badge of honor.”
He singled out the Washington Post and New York Times as examples of the media outlets he said missed the Trump phenomenon, and said that the New York Times in particular should be “absolutely ashamed and humiliated” for its coverage of Trump’s candidacy.
Despite all that vitriol, Bannon told the newspaper he has read the New York Times for most of his adult life.