Boston Globe reporter Matt Viser might have placed his career in jeopardy on Saturday. How? By writing an amazingly upbeat article on the background of Steve Bannon, primarily about his time as a student at Harvard Business School. You just know that any investigation of Bannon by the liberal Boston Globe would be in effect an example of extreme vetting. The fact that they not only turned up nothing really negative but instead provided a report that could best be described as absolutely glowing and on the verge of awe in regards to Bannon's character is quite telling.
Here are some excerpts from the article which is almost sure to attract liberal fury directed at Viser:
There was a class full of them at HBS, the finishing school for the nation’s traditional corridors of power and especially its buttoned-down financial establishment.
He, like they, was gunning for a top Wall Street job, and wanted to make a lot of money in a hurry. And yet, as classmates recall, something set him apart early on. Brash even by Harvard standards, intellectually dominant but also easy company.
What most can’t find in their recollections is the harshly divisive Steve Bannon they read about today.
Emphasis on "read about" as opposed to what really is.
Interviews with more than two dozen of his former classmates illustrate that many view him as a brilliant thinker, even if they don’t always agree with his politics.
He was gregarious. He was preppy, often dressed in a favorite yellow sweater. As one classmate put it, “He didn’t strike me as out of the mainstream.” Minorities in the class said he didn’t make them feel uncomfortable. A Jewish classmate said he never heard him say anything anti-Semitic.
“I don’t think there’s a racist bone in his body,” said Thomas Meredith, who sat with Bannon in the skydeck.
Dude, where's my racist, sexist, homophobe? Well, there was one very slight discordant note from an anonymous source about actually nothing really specific.
“There was some anger there. He was wound really tightly,” said one former classmate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “I’ve lost sleep around the fact that he’s so close to the president of the United States. . . . The women in my section have as well.”
So that really sounds like someone much more politically upset with the present than what Bannon was like in the past. And with this very non-specific complaint out of the way we return to a description of what sounds like the big heart of a very friendly young Steve Bannon:
Scot Vorse, a flip-flop-wearing Californian who had never traveled east of Denver, was wandering around, feeling a little out of place. Listening to new classmates — talking about McKinsey this and consulting firm that — only further alienated him.
Then, Bannon approached. He seemed to have a knack for looking after those who were younger, those who weren’t sure they belonged.
Not long after introductions, Bannon asked Vorse to be in his study group, the beginning of a crucial relationship. The two men would grow extremely close, later working together at Goldman Sachs, forming their own financial firm, and joining forces at Breitbart. On election night, Vorse was one of those Bannon called.
“Our relationship went from little brother-big brother, to equal brother,” Vorse said.
In addition to his kindness, the article also presents a portrait of Bannon as a natural leader, highly respected by this fellow students.
Early on, Bannon was elected the representative from the class to be the liaison between the faculty and those in the section on the verge of flunking out. It was one of the most powerful positions in the section, since the program was set up to fail some 7 percent of the class as a way to foster competition.
It was up to Bannon to argue for someone to be saved — or not.
...Bannon put together a large study group of about seven people. Some within the section began referring to Bannon and his group as “the pack.” Bannon was “the leader of the pack.”
...“In my view, Steve was certainly top three in intellectual horsepower in our class — perhaps the smartest,” Allen said. “But he combined horsepower with logical, well-structured arguments. Whenever Steve spoke, my advice was to ‘listen for understanding.’ That is what I am doing today.”
...“As a woman, minority [Asian], an immigrant, and as onetime supporter of Hillary Clinton, I believe I can be objective in my assessment of Steve Bannon,” Thai Lee said in an e-mail. “The Steve I knew in 1980’s was a very smart, studious, and polite young man. I have never heard Steve speak ill of women, minorities, or others.”
...“A lot of people give him credit for being the brains behind this political revolution, almost as if it’s coming out of nowhere,” the classmate said. “That’s very consistent in the behavior I saw from Steve in the HBS environment.
Wow! After reading this, most Americans would be jubilant that someone of such sterling character and superb abilities has the ear of the next president.
Exit question: How long before the liberals angrily condemn Matt Viser for Thought Crimes?