President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, rarely speaks publicly and is known to egg on the president in his trashing of the mainstream media.
But when he decided to break that silence, Bannon chose the venerable Charlie Rose as his interviewer and the CBS flagship Sunday night show, “60 Minutes,” as his venue. There could be no more mainstream choice.
Trump himself is a constant critic of the establishment press who delights in disparaging the (“failing”) New York Times and the (“Amazon”) Washington Post.
But last spring, when he wanted to put his own spin on the decision to withdraw the Republican health care bill, he quickly made two phone calls to break the news: to The Post’s Robert Costa and the Times’ Maggie Haberman.
And when Trump wanted to get his message out about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, he sat down for an Oval Office interview with Lester Holt of NBC News.
“It’s a combination of stunning calculation and deep irony,” said Frank Sesno, director of the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, speaking of Bannon’s appearance on “60 Minutes.”
If the mainstream news media is the Trump administration’s archenemy, you’d think these appearances that are fraught with significance would go to friendly media outposts like Fox & Friends or Gateway Pundit or Alex Jones’ Infowars. Or perhaps even to Breitbart, headed by Bannon…