And the "Don't Sugarcoat It" Award for Monday goes to Jonathan Alter, who told us what he really thinks about the Reince Priebus / Stephen Bannon "leadership roles" in the Trump White House:
JONATHAN ALTER: People in Washington are comforted bit fact that Priebus is chief of staff and Bannon is chief strategist, like that's a good thing. I urge them to look back to the Bush administration when Andy Card was Chief of Staff. Who was more powerful in that White House? Bannon is going to be number one in this White House. He will eat Priebus for lunch. He's way smarter not only than Priebus but the other people around trump, not to mention Trump himself. He's described by conservatives who worked for him as quote, an evil genius, a screamer, a manipulator, a hater, somebody who, by his own words, said that he wanted to make Breitbart, a quote, alt-right platform. In other words, a place for hate to get voice online. And he's now expanding to Europe. He's trying to link up with La Pen and....
LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: ....there's a market for this...
ALTER: ...neofascists and try to take this movement, this basically white nationalist movement global.
Fellow panelist James Peterson points out that the lack of government experience with Bannon and Priebus is a plus for Trump voters. And that should terrify all of us.
JAMES PETERSON: ....for some of the folks who voted for Mr. Trump, that's a plus, that they have no experience, they are not contaminated by the ways in which they think government operates in the united states. So we have to be really, really smart about how we sort of frame some of these things at the end of the day, it's our job in the media to resist the normalization of some of these things that are outliers. Having steve Bannon in the role that Valerie Jarrett plays, means that have to think really, really critically about what Bannon's record is, and the best piece of information we have is Breitbart. You look at some of those headlines, but you look around the country, and folks are crying and in fear, and people are concerned about their lives and livelihoods. Their fears are based upon the racialized, sexist language and imagery that's populated the Breitbart site for the last few years, and they feel as if Bannon's anointing is a signal to Trump's America that it's going to be business as usual when it comes to this hateful speech and rhetoric.
Those of us in the sane world see government experience and, you know, not being a White Nationalist misogynist as a good thing. We don't get that in the Trump White House.
Finally, Alter has a warning for the media:
ALTER: ...one of the things that Bannon did in the last couple of weeks is he made this ad for trump that had Lloyd Blankfein, Janet Yellen, George Soros. all Jewish. There are real issues here about the way he treats not just Jews but all sorts of other people. It's very important that he not be normalized and that his bigotry be front and center every time he's described in the media. "Vigilance is the price of liberty," as Wendell Phillips and Thomas Jefferson said. the press has to stay on this. they cannot let this go.
Given how quickly the media has forgotten all about Clinton's emails, James Comey, and the Putin / Trump connection, all in an effort to "give Trump a chance," I have little hope that they will continue to refer to Bannon as the alt-Right racist misogynist blogger that he is.