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.

Just Posted

Rampage come from behind to beat Ice Demons

Prince Rupert scored five goals in the third period to secure the win on Jan. 18

City of Prince Rupert still waiting on street light upgrades

Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure said work would be complete in 2018

How sweet it is: Sugar Shack is back for ninth year

On Jan. 23 the popular Francophone festival in Prince Rupert kicks off with a social

City of Prince Rupert to explore funding for Kwinitsa airport ferry

New roll-on, roll-off berth would be called “Rupert’s Landing”

RCMP asks again for public’s assistance to find Binh Tran

Tran was last seen around the 1600 block of Park Avenue on Dec. 11

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read