All forms of the Press from the newspapers to television networks and now internet sites have their opinions of matters of public interest. Some of these have opinion writers of differing beliefs that give opposing views in their pages, but only one site has its former head in the White House. What role does Breitbart News now play in American politics?
Yesterday #Breitbart News released an audio tape of Republican House Leader #Paul Ryan who stated during the election campaign that he would not defend #Donald Trump. This came in the course of a conference call following the release of the Access Hollywood tape in which the then ‘The Apprentice' host made some controversial comments about women. This tape was one of the factors that led to the National Women’s March on the day after Donald Trump’s Inauguration.
These comments were not surprising. Paul Ryan had publicly stated his position of his Party’s candidate, but what makes yesterday’s release of particular interest is the date of release and also the presence of former Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon as Chief Strategist in the White House.
The release comes at a time that many Republican Congressmen and Senators are opposing the plan presented by Ryan to replace Obamacare. Growing worries about the electoral impact of the legislation particularly in light of the recent stormy town hall meetings around the country have raised fears for next year’s midterms.
In a recent tweet President Donald Trump alluded to the possibility of presenting challenging recalcitrant Republicans at the Primaries if they voted against the proposed legislation.
The presence of Steve Bannon in the White House has been controversial since his appointment at its Chief Strategist and was further cause of debate when he was nominated to sit on the National Security Council.
The former Breitbart News chief has been accused of being a white supremacist and as having too much influence over President Donald Trump. These issues are now coming to a head with the release of this tape on the part of Breitbart News.
With the growing conflict within the Republican Party over a number of issues such as the Russian interference in the campaign, the accusation by President Trump of wiretapping of Trump Tower during the presidential campaign ordered by the Obama Administration and now with ever more vigour over the repeal and replacement of Obamacare the tape is destined to make the conflict greater.
In fact, with the presence of Steve Bannon in the White House the tape’s release seems to be a politically inspired move rather than a “scoop” by the media site that it purports to be.
While newspapers are often used by politicians to embarrass their opponents this move seems particularly hazardous for a Republican #oval office challenged by numbers of fellow Republicans and not limited only to Paul Ryan. It has taken the Republican infighting to a new level.
The fact that this was then done by the controversial and politically aligned Breitbart News can only lead the public to believe that this was done under the orders of Steve Bannon with the approval of Donald Trump.
It is too early to know what the consequences of the release will be for Paul Ryan and the Republican Party, but the issue does raise one important question.
Does yesterday’s release now mean that Breitbart News speaks on behalf of the White House?
If so, this could have unforeseen consequences on American politics and therefore should be clarified as soon as possible. Private news agencies have no business being the voice of the highest Office of the land.