Steve Bannon dropped from New Yorker festival after backlash

New Yorker makes embarrassing climb down and CANCELS Steve Bannon's festival appearance

The New Yorker magazine has cancelled plans to interview former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon during its annual festival next month, after numerous panelists announced they would drop out if he remained.

He may not have had a lot of choice, as one after another of the festival's celebrity invitees - including Jim Carrey and Judd Apatow - began to bail out in protest, and as New Yorker writers took to Twitter to make their displeasure known. Comedians Jimmy Fallon, Patton Oswalt and Carrey also said they wouldn't appear if Bannon was there. "Sorry, @NewYorker. See if Milo Yiannopoulos is free?" a reference to the far-right writer and speaker whose memoir was dropped past year by Simon & Schuster after numerous complaints.

His inclusion at The New Yorker Festival set off an uproar after it was revealed on Monday.

The Economist came under fire for keeping Bannon on for the fall event after The New Yorker disinvited Bannon from its own fall festival on Monday.

"After being contacted several months ago and with seven weeks of continual requests for this event, I accepted The New Yorker's invitation with no thought of an honorarium", Bannon said in a statement to The Associated Press. "The audience itself, by its presence, puts a certain pressure on a conversation that an interview alone doesn't do".

"I've thought this through and talked to colleagues - and I've re-considered", said Remnick. Everyone, it seemed, was mad at the New Yorker for "normalizing" Steve Bannon, and, perhaps worse, "giving him a platform".

Mulaney likewise threatened to walk, noting that while he appreciates a serious debate, Bannon's discourse is more akin to "PT Barnum level horses**t". Director Ava DuVernay lamented that the magazine was selling tickets to see a man who had helped white nationalists reach the mainstream. "And it was announced on a weekend just before tix went on sale", John Mulaney said on Twitter.

On its own, the New Yorker's blunder - for it certainly is that - may not matter much. This is not true: At least some on the left are willing to engage with conservative thinkers, whereas you would never see, say, Bernie Sanders (or even David Remnick) invited to CPAC.

And when New Yorker staff writer Alexandra Schwartz tweeted, "I am hugely relieved that the event will not happen", economist and author Malcolm Gladwell replied, "Call me old-fashioned".

In the wake of the backlash, CNN's Brian Stelter posted a statement from Remnick in which he announced that Bannon was no longer invited to the festival.

Now, I'm under no illusion that a tough interview with David Remnick would change Steve Bannon's mind, but I am of the opinion that more understanding about the world is always better than less.

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