Steve Bannon still invited to headline The Economist's festival

New Yorker makes embarrassing climb down and CANCELS Steve Bannon's festival appearance

New Yorker makes embarrassing climb down and CANCELS Steve Bannon's festival appearance

Since leaving the White House past year, Bannon has continued to champion right-wing causes, including supporting British anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson, who was freed from prison last month after winning a legal challenge over contempt charges.

A lengthy statement was posted on the magazine's Twitter feed Monday afternoon explaining why New Yorker editor David Remnick wanted to interview the former Breitbart News executive chairman in a public forum.

Judd Apatow, Jack Antonoff, John Mulaney and Jim Carrey were among the high-profile attendees who pulled out of their scheduled events, the Times reported.

"After being contacted several months ago and with seven weeks of continual requests for this event, I accepted The New Yorker's invitation with no thought of an honorarium", Bannon said in a statement to The Associated Press. "In what I would call a defining moment, David Remnick showed he was gutless when he was confronted by the howling online mob", Bannon said.

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

That's good. Remnick also deserves credit for something far more significant: Giving Ronan Farrow's stellar investigative work on Harvey Weinstein a safe harbor past year after NBC failed to provide adequate support.

Chelsea Clinton tweeted at The Economist and New Yorker Monday, calling the decision to invite Bannon "normalization of bigotry".

Several activists, filmmakers, writers and journalists condemned the New Yorker's invitation to Bannon, claiming the magazine was providing him with a platform to propagate white-nationalist views. I've thought this through and talked to colleagues, and I've reconsidered.

Bannon has been accused of embracing racism and encouraging white nationalism, and of using those ideas to galvanize political support behind far-right political candidates. But, instead, all these famous people, these New Yorker contributors, and these newly unsubscribed readers who shouted their disapproval are no different than the college students who scream that they do not want to be exposed to risky ideas every time Milo cons his way onto campus.

"Bannon? And me? On the same program?" asked Carey.

"I've changed my mind", Remnick said. He clearly planned to make this a tough, revelatory session.

Remnick said he had hoped to conduct a "rigorous interview", which would put pressure on Bannon's views.

On its own, the New Yorker's blunder - for it certainly is that - may not matter much. "If you only invite your friends over, it's called a dinner party".

Patton Oswald and Jimmy Fallon cancelled following Remnick's announcement.

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