The new NY Times stuns us with a surprisingly upbeat depiction of Trump adviser Steve Bannon. They find a few straws in the wind but essentially give up on the "Bannon as racist, anti-Semitic bigot" meme - apparently he has two many black friends, Jewish friends and liberal friends who just haven't seen that.
On the other hand:
Where some perceive racism and nativism, others see a different -ism: opportunism. Whatever may be in his heart, they say, Mr. Bannon was happy to draw a white nationalist following to Breitbart, while denying that was his intent.
Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart editor who has been sharply critical of Mr. Bannon, called him “a manipulator” who had “mainstreamed” far-right extremists for cynical political purposes.
Ms. Jones, Mr. Bannon’s former film collaborator, who describes herself as very liberal, said, “Steve’s not a racist.”
But, she added, “he’s using the alt-right — using them for power.”
Obviously Trump has played along, and mainstreaming these people is simply not acceptable.
Ann Althouse has more.