National Public Radio’s Teri Gross, host of Fresh Air, declared on Tuesday that Breitbart News is “famous for fake news” and claimed, erroneously, that former Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon “created the alt-right.”
Gross made her statements during an interview with Joshua Green, author of Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency. She provided no examples of “fake news” from Breitbart News, much less any proof to substantiate her claim that the website is “famous” for it.
The context for her claim was a discussion of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), which Bannon founded, and which worked together with mainstream media publications in rolling out its research on the Clintons:
And it’s interesting, like, although Steve Bannon had been the head of Breitbart News, which is famous for fake news, with the Government Accountability Institute, he wanted that Schweizer book, “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story Of How And Why Foreign Governments And Businesses Helped Make Bill And Hillary Rich,” Bannon wanted that book to be fact-based in the hopes that the mainstream press would pick up on it and would publish facts from there and that that would work against Hillary. And that’s in fact what happened.
Gross claimed that Bannon “created” the alt-right in the course of asking whether he was responsible for antisemitism on the Internet:
Steve Bannon has said with pride that he created the alt-right. And during the Trump campaign, there was a lot of anti-Semitism and racism being unleashed on the Internet, particularly on Twitter. And as you point out in the book, a lot of journalists were getting a lot of anti-Semitic imagery and language directed at them, particularly Jewish journalists. Do you think Steve Bannon is implicated in that at all?
Trump’s first budget proposal called for cutting off federal funds to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which helps fund National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Conservatives have long pointed to liberal bias at NPR as a reason to end its taxpayer funding.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.