Dear Anderson: You shouldn't have Steve Bannon on your show. But if you're going to have him on, do better. Simply tangling with Steve Bannon and saying, 'Ah, come on, you don't believe that' isn't doing your job. You're just winging it, and that allows an opening for Bannon and his insidious propaganda.
First of all, don't invite this disturbingly effective chaos agent on your show without doing deep preparation. Don't talk to him as if he's ever a good-faith participant when he's not. Not only is it useless to tell him he's lying, it plays into his strategy. It's just "a policy difference." Exhibit 1:
"In general, is it okay for a president, any president to ask a foreign leader of a country fighting a war against our adversaries in need of aid to do a political favor and investigate his political opponent and hold aid over it.?"
"This is where your premise is wrong. Number one, one of the things that started this was "Secret Empires," the book that Peter Schweizer did."
Okay, STOP RIGHT THERE.
This would have been a good time to derail Bannon's talking points and tell the viewers a few pertinent things about Peter Schweizer.
Schweizer is the president of the Government Accountability Institute, Breitbart's non-profit arm -- which he started with .... Steve Bannon. GAI is funded by the Mercers and the Kochs. GAI's main purpose? To generate "scandals" on demand to attack Democratic candidates. Steve Bannon's institute pays Schweizer to write his books! Remember Clinton Cash, the lying, error-ridden hack job on Hillary Clinton that the New York Times so obligingly mainstreamed for Trump adviser Bannon? Also written by Schweizer, and funded by the GAI.
Yet we want to listen to Bannon and Steve Schweizer about corruption? From the Nonprofit Quarterly:
Steve Bannon, the executive chairman at conservative news site Breitbart News Network (before going on leave in August) and newly appointed senior adviser (some say co-chief of staff) to President-elect Trump, has been receiving compensation from the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), a small Florida-based foundation established by Bannon in 2012. Two other GAI employees are also identified as receiving compensation from the foundation while simultaneously employed elsewhere.
↓ Story continues below ↓
The six-figure compensation reported on GAI’s 2012-2014 Form 990 returns raises serious questions of private inurement and excessive compensation. GAI appears to be paying full-time or near full-time compensation to three people with other apparent full-time employment. In addition, GAI receives much of its funding from a single private foundation whose sole officer is also a GAI board member.
[...] It appears that the Government Accountability Institute, using money from major donors like the Mercer Family Foundation’s Robert Mercer and his administrator/daughter Rebekah Mercer, provided significant income—using charitable gifts—to Bannon while he was employed full-time at Breitbart, to Schweizer while employed at Oval Office Writers, and Hall while employed at both Breitbart and Oval Office Writers. Did GAI receive fair value for compensation paid, or was the compensation excessive and place the individuals in a private inurement situation in regard to their respective relationships to GAI? With Bannon about to become a senior White House aide, perhaps the Government Accountability Institute should investigate itself.
There are so many inherent conflicts in using Steve Bannon as an authoritative source, there is simply no good reason to have him on your show unless you're going to destroy his lies. Period.
So now we know that Steve Bannon, who works around the world to destabilize Western democracies, who plans to use our data to establish his own intelligence network, plans to defend Trump's Ukraine quid pro quo as a "policy difference."
Was that entirely predictable information worth validating Bannon's lies once again?
This isn't that hard, and you're not that stupid, Anderson. I have to assume you and your staff are merely lazy. And in this volatile, delicate time for American democracy, you aren't doing your job.