The subject of this documentary has never yielded in his regard for the infliction of shock and chaos as a political tactic, according to the commentators, mainly journalists, assembled for “ Bannon’s War,” a “Frontline” film on the life and career of Steve Bannon... an enduring belief in the value of chaos and disorder to undermine the establishment, usurp its power... he ran for student body president and won a surprise victory by running on a platform in which he attacked his rivals as tools of the administration—of the establishment—and by claiming for himself the mantle of “an outsider.”.. The young Bannon who emerges from this background is an omnivorous reader—a devourer, especially, of philosophy and history that yielded clues to the future. Future calamities, in particular. No danger preoccupied him more than the one posed by the Islamic world, which would in his view forever be a mortal threat to the West... nothing would have greater impact on him than the Sept. 11 attacks, proof to him of Islam’s continuing war against Western civilization... had lost none of his ingrained belief in the value of disruption... Mr. Bannon and President Trump, the film notes, wanted the ensuing outrage, the protests, the shock and, not least, the media’s cameras. They were sending a message: Change had come; Trump was making good on his promises.
Trust among Americans and for many of our institutions is at its lowest levels in generations, and stereotyping and prejudice have become substitutes for knowing and understanding one another as individuals.
.. I’ve seen articles that say PBS and its member stations are ranked first in public trust among nationally known institutions. Why then would we degrade or destroy an institution that binds us together?
We need public media that acts as our largest classroom. We need broadcasting that treats us as citizens, not simply as consumers. We need a strong civil society where the connection between different people and groups is firm and vibrant, not brittle and divided. We need to defend against weaknesses within and enemies without, using the tools of civil society and hard power. We don’t have to pick one over the other.