Bannon slams 'gutless' New Yorker editor after being disinvited from festival

Bannon slams 'gutless' New Yorker editor after being disinvited from festival
© Greg Nash

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon on Monday slammed The New Yorker's decision to disinvite him from the magazine's annual festival next month.

"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 CNBC.

"The reason for my acceptance was simple: I would be facing one of the most fearless journalists of his generation. In what I would call a defining moment, David Remnick showed he was gutless when confronted by the howling online mob," he added, referring to the magazine's editor.

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Bannon's scheduled appearance at the festival next month had sparked significant backlash when it was announced on Monday, leading the magazine to disinvite the former Breitbart News executive from the event.

A number of attendees announced Monday that they would not attend the event due to its inclusion of Bannon, including actor Jim Carrey, comedian John Mulaney, singer Jack Antonoff, producer Judd Apatow and actor Patton Oswalt.

Remnick said in a lengthy statement that those objecting to his on-stage interview with Bannon argued that Bannon would “propel further the ‘ideas’ of white nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, and illiberalism.” Remnick maintained that “to interview Bannon is not to endorse him.”

“By conducting an interview with one of Trumpism’s leading creators and organizers, we are hardly pulling him out of obscurity,” he said. “Ahead of the mid-term elections and with 2020 in sight, we’d be taking the opportunity to question someone who helped assemble Trumpism.”

Remnick said that he would not interview Bannon on stage during the event as planned but left open the door to interview him down the road "in a more traditionally journalistic setting."