Following the biggest political news of the day, namely Donald Trump's official announcement that RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, will serve as his chief of staff while Stephen Bannon will serve as chief strategist and senior counselor, the political and pundit response - as manifsted by statements on Twitter - splintered. On one hand, pundits and politicians praised establishment figure Priebus - for obvious reasons as he is seen as a symbolic figure in how Trump approaches the so-called "swamp"; on the other hand political outsider Steve Bannon - the head of Breitbart News and the person directly responsible for getting Trump elected as CEO of his presidential campaign, was furiously criticized.
Fellow Wisconsinites Paul Ryan and Scott Walker praised the choice for chief of staff, while former Ted Cruz staffer Amanda Carpenter said Priebus would "make the trains run" in the White House.
I'm very proud and excited for my friend @Reince. Congrats!— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 13, 2016
Reince will be an outstanding Chief of Staff! Congrats to our fellow cheesehead! ????— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) November 13, 2016
Let's be real. Reince is going to make the trains run while Trump and Bannon brainstorm new conspiracy theories— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) November 13, 2016
Not everyone was enthused: Louisiana Senate candidate and ex-KKK leader David Duke seemed less enthusiastic about the pick of Priebus, who is aligned with GOP leadership.
* * *
However, the reaction by prominent members of the establishment to Steve Bannon's elevated role was critical and swift, and none was more vocal in their disgust than a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a vocal critic of Trump, who said the hire "signals that White Supremacists will be represented at the highest levels" of the new administration.
Others - such as Intelligence committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff and many others - joined Reid in accusing Bannon of being "anti-Semitic" and "misogynistic."
Selection of Steve Bannon for senior WH role unsurprising but alarming. His alt-right, anti-Semitic & misogynistic views don't belong in WH— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 13, 2016
Oh, hell! White supremacist, anti gay, anti Semite, vindictive, scary-ass dude named Senior Strategist. After vomiting, be afraid, America. https://t.co/cZvP3vccjS— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) November 13, 2016
Just to be clear news media, the next president named a racist, anti-semite as the co-equal of the chief of staff. #NotNormal— John Weaver (@JWGOP) November 13, 2016
So y'all aren't worried about Bannon having access to State secrets? Just think of him as a racist homebrewed server, should get you angry.— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) November 13, 2016
Bannon with top WH position should surprise no one.— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) November 13, 2016
Unrealistic to expect Pres Trump is suddenly different person from candidate Trump.
Let's hope that @Reince has influence to check bigotry of Bannon, more so than during campaign phase. Our liberty is riding on it.— Mindy Finn (@mindyfinn) November 13, 2016
Even the anti-defamation leage joined in:
Bannon has been widely criticized by the left for articles Brietbart ran while he was in charge. Democrats worked hard during the campaign to link Trump to the so-called “alt-right” movement, which we assume is a bad thing, and associate him with racist and anti-Semitic groups.
They highlighted some of Breitbart's controversial headlines, including one about Never Trump Republican and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol: “Republican spoiler, renegade Jew.
* * *
And now, moments ago, the NYT which may or may not be losing subscribers as a result of its coverage of the presidential election, has decided to turn its focus to Bannon's Breitbart website, saying "there is talk of Breitbart bureaus opening in Paris, Berlin and Cairo, spots where the populist right is on the rise. A bigger newsroom is coming in Washington, the better to cover a president-elect whose candidacy it embraced.
Mainstream news outlets are soul-searching in the wake of being shocked by Donald J. Trump’s election last week. But the team at Breitbart News, the right-wing opinion and news website that some critics have denounced as a hate site, is elated — and eager to expand on a victory that it views as a profound validation of its cause.
Judging the amount of hatred spewed at Bannon by virtually every member of establishment media and politics, he must have done something right.