Trump Campaign CEO Stephen K. Bannon Studies Rachel Maddow to Learn Left’s Ways


Joshua Green dug into his notes from his interview last fall with Breitbart’s Executive Chairman and Donald Trump’s new Campaign CEO, Stephen K. Bannon, after the journalist’s appearance Monday night on The Rachel Maddow Show to pen this article for Bloomberg News

Many political consultants have a guru they turn to for wisdom and aphorisms—Sun Tzu, say, or Machiavelli. Steve Bannon, the new CEO of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has one, too: It’s Rachel Maddow of MSNBC.

“I watch her show every night,” Bannon told me. “I’m a huge fan.”

At first blush, this seems a strange choice. Maddow is an outspoken liberal. Bannon is a populist conservative—until last week, he was executive chairman of the alt-right website Breitbart News (he took leave when he joined the Trump campaign). But as I discovered last fall, while shadowing Bannon for this Bloomberg Businessweek profile, his choice of Maddow as a guiding light makes a certain odd kind of sense.

Bannon’s approach to politics is shaped by his critique of why conservatives failed to stop the Clintons in the 1990s. He believes they relied too heavily on rumor and opinion—and too little on facts—and wound up turning off voters and the mainstream media who dismissed the right as wacky conspiracy theorists. He developed his own aphorism, a kind of 21st Century Sun Tzu: “Facts gets shares, opinions get shrugs.”

Read the rest of the story here.