Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, talks about the approaching midterm election during an interview with The Associated Press, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018, in Washington. Steve Bannon, the controversial former strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump, is set to defend the issue of populism in a debate with conservative commentator David Frum in Toronto this fall. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, J. Scott Applewhite)

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon to defend populism at Toronto event

The announcement comes days after Bannon was dropped from next month’s New Yorker Festival

Steve Bannon, the controversial former strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump, is set to defend the issue of populism in a debate with conservative commentator David Frum in Toronto this fall.

The announcement of the event — part of the Munk Debates — comes days after Bannon was dropped from the speakers list at next month’s New Yorker Festival following intense backlash and threats of a boycott by other guests.

Munk organizers announced Wednesday that Bannon is expected to argue in favour of the proposition that “the future of western politics is populist, not liberal” at the debate on Nov. 2.

READ MORE: Upcoming book assails Trump’s ‘ethics deficit’ in golf

Rudyard Griffiths, the debates’ organizer and chair, said the event, which is scheduled days before the U.S. midterm elections, will showcase the two men’s “sharply different views” on the surging populist movement and its impact on Western politics.

“We believe we are providing a public service by allowing their ideas to be vigorously contested and letting the public draw their own conclusions from the debate,” he said in a statement.

“In our increasingly polarized societies we often struggle to see across ideological and moral divides. Civil and substantive public debate of the big issues of our time helps all of us better understand the challenges we face as a society and what, if anything, can be done to resolve them.”

Frum, a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine, was a speechwriter for former president George W. Bush and is the author of the recent book “Trumpocracy.” He said the planned debate with Bannon would be an important discussion.

“Liberal democracy is founded on the belief that free people can be inspired to make wiser choices by words and ideas,” he wrote in statement posted on Twitter. “Mr. Bannon comes to the prestigious Munk platform because he believes his words can persuade people to follow him. I will face him there because I believe democratic ideas can defeat him.”

The New Yorker’s announcement Monday that Bannon was invited, then un-invited, to the magazine’s festival set off a heated debate about whether it was better to challenge or shun Bannon.

Bannon, meanwhile, said in a statement Monday that he had welcomed the opportunity to face off with the magazine’s editor, David Remnick.

“The reason for my acceptance was simple: I would be facing one of the most fearless journalists of his generation,” Bannon said. “In what I would call a defining moment, David Remnick showed that he was gutless when confronted by the howling mob.”

Bannon is still set to speak at a festival hosted by The Economist later this month.

Zanny Minton Beddoes, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, said she was deeply troubled by Bannon’s far right stances but believed open debate was more important.

Beddoes will be interviewing Bannon in New York on Sept. 15 at The Economist’s “Open Future” gathering. Some speakers at the event have cancelled because of Bannon.

Bannon, former executive chairman of right-wing Breitbart News, was chief strategist and senior counsellor to Trump until August 2017.

— with files from the Associated Press.

Paola Loriggio , The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cover selected for Keremeos landfill

Granular layer will be used as final cover at the facility

RDOS hears concerns about 5G wireless technology

Potential safety concerns raised as communications technology expands

Mental health disorders, suicide on the rise among Okanagan students

The survey was conducted by the McCreary Centre Society in 2018

Okanagan youth drink, smoke and have sex more than anywhere else in B.C.

The survey was conducted by the McCreary Centre Society in 2018

Summerland transgender female follows her passion for hockey

“As soon as you put the jersey on, nothing underneath it matters.You are just a hockey player.”

UPDATE: Protesters say they will maintain blockade near Chase “as long as it takes”

Signs at protest site say in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Deaths on popular Shuswap trail ruled accidental

B.C. Coroners Service reports on fatal falls in May and July 2019

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Federal minister to speak in North Okanagan

Greater Vernon Chamber welcomes middle class prosperity minister to talk money

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

EDITORIAL: Thoughtless posts to Facebook cause real harm and stress

At the risk of resembling a broken record, it needs to be… Continue reading

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Most Read