The Economist stands by decision to include Steve Bannon in event

New Yorker editor David Remnick released a lengthy statement on Twitter explaining his decision to invite- and then disinvite- Bannon

The Festival-an annual event in which New Yorker writers and famous people interview each other and exchange ideas on stage-came under fire Sunday after announcing that this year's headliner would be Donald Trump enabler Steve Bannon. Mr. Bannon, who served as chief strategist.

David Remnick, the US-based magazine's editor-in-chief, announced the reversal on Twitter on Monday when the festival's lineup was met immediate backlash. Remnick released a statement justifying the initial decision, insisting that to "interview Bannon is not to endorse him".

"I have every intention of asking him hard questions and engaging in a serious and even combative conversation". Festival participants like Judd Apatow, Jim Carrey, John Mulaney, Patton Oswalt, Bo Burnham, and Lena Dunham's ex-boyfriend all announced that they would be canceling in light of Bannon's invitation. This is PT Barnum level horses.

The announcement did not go over well.

One of the most vocal critics was Apatow - whose Twitter feed also became a site for debate over the invitation to Bannon. "Maybe they should read their own reporting about his ideology".

Virtually every comedian scheduled to perform or speak at the festival swiftly voiced their unhappiness with Bannon's presence at the festival by tweeting that they would not be a part of the festival if Bannon is on the slate.

The Economist isn't backing off from its decision to invite Steve Bannon to appear at a conference the magazine is holding later this month.




In a statement to CNBC, Bannon slammed The New Yorker and its editor, David Remnick. But others said the reversal was a failure to encourage free speech.

The New Yorker's reversal, however, was also criticised by conservative commentators.

Beddoes quoted The Economist's founder, James Wilson, who said the paper's mission was to take part in "a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress'". But I would have thought that the point of a festival of ideas was to expose the audience to ideas.

"I would like to invite you to sit down with me for an informal, free-ranging discussion of the political movements redefining worldwide and local politics".

Steve Huff of Maxim retorted, "Hi Malcolm, we were exposed to this set of ideas in 1933 and they were in German".

"If Steve Bannon is at the New Yorker festival I am out. Could never happen", Carrey said.

Remnick said he had hoped to conduct a "rigorous interview", which would put pressure on Bannon's views. It's obvious that no matter how tough the questioning, Bannon is not going to burst into tears and change his views of the world.

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