BuzzFeed’s must-read exposé dumped Breitbart’s emails in the sunlight to allow public scrutiny. It puts aside any last remaining doubts that the organization caters to racists and white supremacists, not just “computer gamers and blue-collar voters who hate the GOP brand,” as Steve Bannon would like the branding to appear now. The term “Alt-Right” is just a mask covering something ghastly, now that mask has been ripped off in full public view.
Judd Legum, editor, and founder at ThinkProgress Tweeted, “Correspondence reported by BuzzFeed shows extensive effort to coordinate with white supremacists.”
Washington Post columnist, Anne Applebaum, described the article as “How Bannon and Milo worked to launder racism into respectability.”
Activist, Deray McKesson noted, “The most interesting part of the BuzzFeed investigation re: Milo/Breitbart is all the folks in Hollywood & Silicon Valley who emailed Milo.”
The article lays out the emails and communications between Milo Yiannopoulos, Steve Bannon, and other Breitbart staff, but also unexpectedly exposes others who chose to seek out Milo or give him tips on stories. It wasn’t the usual suspects.
The revelations have already resulted in a firing. CNN reporter, Oliver Darcy, reported on Twitter that VICE fired Mitchell Sunderland after his emails to Milo were made public.
Many of the revelations come from the specifics about how Milo and the Breitbart team tried to walk the line of catering to neo-Nazis and keeping just enough plausible deniability so that Bannon could go on CBS This Morning and claim that “there’s no room in American society” for neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, and the KKK. All so that Breitbart could pass as palatable by concealing their actual face.
Speaking of faces, Milo was the perfect person for Bannon to take as his apprentice precisely because he was gay with a Jewish heritage. It was another disguise used to deflect accusations of bigotry. Though Milo was gaining notoriety and fame, evidence that he condoned pedophilia destroyed him. There was no disguising that one, and despite that, BuzzFeed reports that “Yiannopoulos has told those close to him that he expects to be back at Breitbart soon.”
Before this happened, Breitbart tried to maintain a “clean” reputation, although, behind the scenes, we now know –not so much. There were threats of legal action against outlets that described Yiannopoulos as a racist or a white nationalist. Now Breitbart may have a much harder time trying to maintain any semblance of a facade.
How far they have fallen in such a short time, though they reached a pinnacle few would have expected when Bannon became White House Chief Strategist.
It seems that Breitbart has maybe lost the best chance it had to incite racist culture wars from within the White House. Pressure to purge Bannon following the neo-Nazi rally in broad daylight in Charlottesville ended with his departure. Trump seemed to do his best to disguise the neo-Nazi crowd as “fine people,” but the pressure and outrage only intensified.
Now we learn from BuzzFeed that Milo thought Bannon was feeding Trump phrases that sounded like something he would say himself.
“He used phrases extremely close to what I say — Bannon is feeding him,” Yiannopoulos said of Trump.
Will Breitbart’s credibility be damaged further by the BuzzFeed exposé, or will their followers shrug it off like they would an Access Hollywood video of Trump bragging over sexual assault? We can be sure that at least now they’ll have a harder time laundering the hate.