On Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, the smearing of Steve Bannon went so far as to claim that he and other White House advisors have "ties to hate groups" as host Cooper set up a discussion of rumors that he might soon leave the White House. As if the right-leaning Breitbart News might be a "hate group," Cooper cited Bannon's time there, and his quote from more than a year ago about giving a "platform to the Alt-Right."
Cooper: "Chief strategist Steve Bannon is one of several people in the President's inner circle with ties to hate groups. Bannon is the former head of Breitbart, which in the past Bannon called the 'platform for the Alt-Right.'"
But, as explained previously by Breitbart senior editor-at-large Joel Pollak, when Bannon was quoted as referring to it, "Alt-Right" was a less-defined term that had not yet become commonly used as synonymous with white racism as it has over the past year.
None of the five panel members had any problem with Cooper's incendiary characterization of Bannon, even though there were two right-leaning guests present. After liberal CNN commentator Bakari Sellers descried Bannon as a "cancer," and suggested that he is a "Nazi," right-leaning CNN commentator Tara Setmayer agreed with her liberal fellow panel member:
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't care if he's a Nazi or a white nationalist -- I put them all kind of in the same category together -- Steve Bannon is a cancer to America, and I have a fundamental problem with someone who was the editor-in-chief of Breitbart who gave a platform to that type of racism, bigotry and xenophobia, being a senior advisor to the President. So if he leaves, I'm going to send him an edible arrangement because he needs to go.
TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I agree. No, I agree with you, and, you know, what Steve Bannon represents is something that I shudder to think about him receiving taxpayer dollars working in the White House in that position of power and influence like that.
As previously documented by NewsBusters, Breitbart News has an established history of defending Israel and documenting and criticizing anti-Semitism. The organization was even founded by a group of conservative Jews who were inspired during a trip to Israel.