On the outside, Steve Bannon is a powerful political pundit responsible for Donald Trump’s ascension to the White House. But on the inside? Well, it sounds like he’s just another insecure guy who’s desperate to not be seen as just another “podcast bro.”
In a revealing profile by The Atlantic, journalist Jennifer Senior shared texts from the alt-right champion along with insight from those in his inner circle. What she found was a man easily triggered by unfavorable opinions about his appearance with an unhealthy view of his own self-importance.
“There were times when he almost resembled a regular human,” Senior wrote, referencing her digital correspondence with Bannon. “He would talk about missing his father, who died in January at 100, and how strange it was to be in his childhood home alone. (Just sat in the family room for hours.) He would fret about his weight and express pleasure when a newspaper used a photo that did not, for once, make him look god-awful, like some deranged incel by way of Maurice Sendak.”
Senior also details Bannon’s many cellphones, some encrypted, which he uses to communicate with members of the Republican party, bragging to her in one instance about his sway with certain senators in the latest Supreme Court nominations. Those cellphones can often be heard buzzing through his broadcast of the War Room, his “TV show” that was pulled from Youtube after Bannon used it to spread election conspiracies. Though the show is now audio only and can only be streamed on conservative media sites, he gets a bit testy when anyone dubs it a podcast. Senior shared that Bannon sees his show as a visual medium, and gets offended when others don’t notice his attention to detail.
“He broadcasts from the ground floor of a Washington, D.C., townhouse, and there are cameras, bright lights, a backdrop that devoted viewers know well: a fireplace mantel displaying a gold-framed picture of Jesus and a black-and-white poster saying there are no conspiracies, but there are no coincidences,” she writes.
So if you ever run into the guy on the street and feel like pushing some of his buttons, at least now you’ve got ammo.