Fox News’ The Five predictably pounced on Nancy Pelosi yesterday after she blasted the Trump administration for making “white supremacist” Steve Bannon a permanent member of the National Security Council. And Vichy Democrat Bob Beckel once again seemed more interested in helping the Fox News message than in advocating for what is supposed to be his own side.
Cohost Beckel began the discussion with a pre-scripted introduction that suggested Pelosi is inciting violence. After showing clips of violent protests at University of California, Berkeley and New York University, Beckel said, “Our lawmakers may be adding fuel to the fire.”
That was the context for showing Pelosi saying, “What’s making America less safe is to have a white supremacist named to the National Security Council as a permanent member. It’s a stunning thing that a white supremacist, Bannon, would be a permanent member of the National Security Council.”
Off camera, cohost Kimberly Guilfoyle, whom I suspect is using her current position to audition for a job (or maybe a date) with Bannon, sighed theatrically to show her disgust with Pelosi. (Transcript via Media Matters, with minor copy edits):
BOB BECKEL (CO-HOST): Kimberly, I suppose that using the word “white supremacist” without having proof beyond the fact, that in the web page, there were some white supremacists who wrote some things, but I don’t like Bannon. I don’t like any of them. But that’s not the point.
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (CO-HOST): He is not a white supremacist and she shouldn’t slander him by saying this. It’s really conduct unbecoming. She has no proof to back that up. And it just shows the depths that they will go to try to disparage someone and the desperation, really, of the liberals. And I’m so sorry, Bob, but, your party right now.
Just because Bannon does not walk around in a white hood and publicly vow allegiance to the Ku Klux Klan does not mean there's no evidence for Pelosi's accusation. In reality, the evidence against him goes way beyond, as Beckel put it, “some white supremacists who wrote some things” on his web site.
As Media Matters’ John Whitehouse explained yesterday, whether Bannon is actually a “white supremacist or ’just’ the #1 fan of white supremacists” doesn’t really matter:
Breitbart is driven by the horde of white supremacists and misogynists who frequent the site. Don’t take my word for it. Take it from Stephen Bannon himself. In late December, Bannon told Breitbart radio, “The best thing we ever had was both the comments section at Breitbart and the callers, the great audience we’ve got here at SiriusXM, to call and share every day what their feelings were.” He reiterated the importance of the “intensity in the comments” later in the interview.
There is no ambiguity about which commenters Brannon was referencing. He bragged to Mother Jones at the Republican National Convention in August that Breitbart was “the platform for the alt-right.” And the “alt-right” loves Bannon back. Former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro said that “Breitbart has become the alt-right go-to website, with [editor Milo] Yiannopoulos pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers” (emphasis added). Beyond Yiannopoulos, Breitbart has also hired white nationalists as reporters. Shapiro said the “alt-right” is “shot through with racism and anti-Semitism” …
White nationalists and white supremacists were overjoyed when Trump appointed Bannon as his chief strategist. Former KKK grand wizard David Duke told CNN, “You have an individual, Mr. Bannon, who’s basically creating the ideological aspects of where we’re going.” Duke added on his radio show that Bannon had “been right on about a lot of the issues facing European Americans.” A neo-Nazi website described Bannon’s White House position as “pure awesomeness.” Richard Spencer, the Nazi who was punched during inauguration weekend, lauded Bannon’s ability to chart Trump’s “macro trajectory.” Andrew Breitbart himself reportedly called Bannon “the Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement,” referring to the German filmmaker who made propaganda films for the Nazis.
Yet “Democrat” Beckel deliberately discounted or else ignored this mountain of damning facts to go along with the Fox meme that Pelosi is the dangerous extremist.
Watch this shameful display below, from the February 3, 2017 The Five, via Media Matters.
In other words, I think he betrays his own side stark raving sober.